Evaluation of a sponge assisted-granular anaerobic membrane bioreactor (SG-AnMBR) for municipal wastewater treatment

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Renewable Energy, 2017, 111 pp. 620 - 627
Issue Date:
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© 2017 Elsevier Ltd This study compared a conventional granular anaerobic membrane bioreactor (CG-AnMBR) with a sponge assisted-granular anaerobic membrane bioreactor (SG-AnMBR) in terms of treatment performance, granular sludge properties, membrane fouling behaviour and biogas production. The SG-AnMBR showed better organics and nutrient removal, and enhanced methane yield at 156.3 ± 5.8 mL CH4(STP)/g CODremoved. Granular sludge from the SG-AnMBR had superior quality with better settleability, larger particle size, higher EPS content and more granule abundance. The SG-AnMBR also exhibited slower fouling development with 50.7% lower total filtration resistance than those of the CG-AnMBR. Sponge addition effectively affected the concentration and properties of microbial products (e.g. soluble microbial products (SMP) and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS)) in granular sludge, cake layer as well as settling zone mixed liquor, thus alleviating the fouling propensity. The liquid chromatography-organic carbon detection (LC-OCD) analysis suggested that sponge addition reduced the concentrations of biopolymers, low molecular weight neutrals and acids, and building blocks of the foulants. Compared with the SG-AnMBR, GC-MS analysis confirmed the accumulation of volatile fatty acids, particularly acetic acid in the CG-AnMBR. It is evident that the SG-AnMBR could be a promising solution for improving overall G-AnMBR performance and substantially mitigating membrane fouling.
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