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Evaluation of process parameters impacting energy-efficiency and emerging contaminant removal in membrane reactors
Proceedings of the 2022 Mississippi Water Resources Conference

Year: 2022 Authors: Mark-Ige J., Gude V.G.

It is well known that activated sludge process is robust but energy intensive and offers only limited removal of micro pollutants and soluble microbial products. Advanced wastewater treatment processes such as membrane bioreactors are being increasingly adopted in wastewater treatment plants to address the discharge quality and environmental pollution issues. Aerobic (AeMBR) and Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactors (AnMBR) are an essential part of the advanced wastewater treatment options, which offer advantages in terms of lower effluent discharge and smaller footprints over the traditional wastewater treatment plants. The key driver for anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) for municipal treatment is enabling the transition to energy neutral wastewater treatment (Wang et al., 2018). However, membrane fouling is a major drawback to utilization of MBRs. This study examines data reported in literature and analyzes correlations between wastewater characteristics and various operational parameters such as Mixed Liquor Suspended Solids (MLSS), Hydraulic Retention Time (HRT), Solid Retention Time (SRT), Temperature (T), Biogas production, Transmembrane Pressure (TMP), and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) against Methane production (CH4), Membrane Fouling, Soluble Microbial Products (SMP), and Extracellular Polymeric Substrate (EPS). These external and internal are the major factors attributed to fouling of the MBRs. Preliminary data analysis indicates that the strength of the influent COD has a major influence on methane production. This presentation will include a detailed analysis of influencing factors and recommendations for improving the membrane reactor performance to accomplish energy-neutral or energy-positive and superior wastewater treatment.

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