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Title: Effect of membrane type and material on performance of a submerged membrane bioreactor
Authors: Choi, J.-H. 
Ng, H.Y. 
Keywords: Initial flux
Membrane hydrophobicity
Membrane permeability
Submerged membrane bioreactor
Surface roughness
Track-etched membrane
Issue Date: Mar-2008
Citation: Choi, J.-H., Ng, H.Y. (2008-03). Effect of membrane type and material on performance of a submerged membrane bioreactor. Chemosphere 71 (5) : 853-859. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This study evaluated the impact of membrane type and material on filtration performance in a submerged membrane bioreactor (MBR) for municipal wastewater treatment. Three types of microfiltration membranes with similar pore size of 0.1 μm but different materials and types, phase-inversed polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), track-etched polycarbonate (PCTE) and track-etched polyester (PETE), were used. Changes in permeability with time for the PCTE and PTFE membranes appeared similarly, whereas the PETE membrane exhibited the most rapid flux decline. Lower TOC in the permeate compared to the supernatant was probably due to a combination of biodegradation by the biofilm (cake layer) developed on the membrane surface and further filtration by cake layer and narrowed pores. The faster permeability decline and higher TOC removal rate of the PETE membrane were attributed to an initial permeate flux higher than an average design flux, which led to a faster rate of fouling and thicker cake layer. Therefore, an MBR should not be operated at a flux higher than the average design flux for a specific type of membrane. A gradual increment of biomass concentration did not significantly affect membrane permeability of each membrane investigated. Dissolved organic carbon fractionation results showed that the composition of each fraction between the supernatant and permeates did not change significantly with time, suggesting that membrane hydrophobicity was not a dominant factor affecting MBR fouling in this study. The organic foulants desorbed from the PCTE membrane contained approximately 60% of hydrophobic fraction, which was probably attributable to the extracellular polymeric substances proteins released from the biomass attached to the membrane. While the total filtration resistance of the PTFE membrane was influenced by a higher surface roughness, those of the PETE and PCTE membranes, which had a similar and lower roughness, were affected by the initial operating flux. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Source Title: Chemosphere
ISSN: 00456535
DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2007.11.029
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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