Effect of organic loading rate on organic matter and foulant characteristics in membrane bio-reactor

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Journal Article
Bioresource Technology, 2012, 113 pp. 154 - 160
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In this study, the influence of organic loading rate (OLR) on the performance of a membrane bio-reactor (MBR) was investigated. The MBR was operated with 6 different OLRs between 0.5 and 3.0kgCOD/m 3d. The hydrodynamic parameters of the MBR were kept constant. The hydraulic retention time and sludge retention time were kept at 8h and 40d respectively. From the experimental investigation, it was found that the removal efficiency of DOC, COD and NH 4-N decreased when OLRs were increased from 0.5 to 3.0kgCOD/m 3d. Higher OLRs of 2.75-3.0kgCOD/m 3d resulted in a higher transmembrane pressure development. The fractionation of organic matters showed more hydrophilic substances with higher OLRs. A detailed organic matter characterization of membrane foulant, soluble microbial product and extracellular polymeric substances showed that bio-polymers type substances together with humic acid and lower molecular neutral and acids were responsible for membrane fouling. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
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