Modelling melamine biodegradation in a membrane aerated biofilm reactor

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Journal Article
Journal of Water Process Engineering, 2020, 38
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© 2020 Elsevier Ltd Membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) system is excellent in developing slow growing microorganisms and treating micropollutants prior to entering the aquatic environment. In this work, a mathematical biofilm model was developed to assess melamine biodegradation under different conditions and to predict the profiles of melamine, nitrogen species and microbial biomass in the MABR system. Comtabolism linked to growth of ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) or heterotrophic bacteria (HB) and their respective metabolism were involved in the model to contribute to melamine biodegradation. Results demonstrated the good predictive performance of the developed model in describing dynamic profiles of melamine, COD and nitrogen species in the MABR system. The relative contribution by AOB-induced cometabolism and metabolism by AOB and HB varied depending on the stratification of the biofilm system with AOB prevalent in the inner layer of the biofilm. Metabolism by AOB and HB played more important roles than AOB-induced cometabolism in melamine removal. Controlling optimal biofilm thickness in the suitable range (e.g., more than 750 μm) might realize better simultaneous removal of melamine and nitrogen. This work might provide further insight on efficient removal of melamine from wastewater.
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