Characterization of biofouling in a lab-scale forward osmosis membrane bioreactor (FOMBR).

Publisher:
IWA Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Water Research, 2014, 58 pp. 141 - 151 (10)
Issue Date:
2014-07-01
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Forward osmosis membrane bioreactors (FOMBR) provide high quality permeate, however the propensity for membrane biofouling in FOMBRs is unknown. Here, FOMBRs were operated under high and low aeration and the membrane-associated biofilms were characterized by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and rRNA gene-tagged pyrosequencing. CLSM images revealed that there was little biofilm formed under high aeration, while thick biofilms were observed on the membranes operated under low aeration. The diversity and richness of bacterial and archaeal communities as assessed by pyrosequencing varied under high and low aeration. The composition of the bacterial suspended sludge communities and the sessile biomass on the membrane surface, as assessed by non-metric multidimensional scaling, was significantly different under high aeration, but was more similar under low aeration. SIMPER analysis indicated that Pseudomonas, Aeromonas and Fluviicola preferentially attached to the membrane. The results presented here provide a comprehensive understanding of membrane biofouling in FOMBRs, which is essential for the development of effective control strategies.
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