Effect of metabolic uncoupler, 2,4‑dinitrophenol (DNP) on sludge properties and fouling potential in ultrafiltration membrane process

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Science of the Total Environment, 2019, 650 pp. 1882 - 1888
Issue Date:
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© 2018 Elsevier B.V. Energy uncoupling technology was applied to the membrane process to control the problem of bio-fouling. Different dosages of uncoupler (2,4‑dinitrophenol, DNP) were added to the activated sludge, and a short-term ultrafiltration test was systematically investigated for analyzing membrane fouling potential and underlying mechanisms. Ultrafiltration membrane was used and made of polyether-sulfone with a molecular weight cut off (MWCO) of 150 kDa. Results indicated that low DNP concentration (15–30 mg/g VSS) aggravated membrane fouling because more soluble microbial products were released and then rejected by the membrane, which significantly increased cake layer resistance compared with the control. Conversely, a high dosage of DNP (45 mg/g VSS) retarded membrane fouling owing to the high inhibition of extracellular polymeric substances (proteins and polysaccharides) of the sludge, which effectively prevented the formation of cake layer on the membrane surface. Furthermore, analyses of fouling model revealed that a high dosage of DNP delayed the fouling model from pore blocking transition to cake filtration, whereas this transition process was accelerated in the low dosage scenario.
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