Main content area

A comparative study of the influence of salt concentration on the performance of an osmotic membrane bioreactor and a sequencing batch reactor

Soler‐Cabezas, José L, Luján‐Facundo, Maria J, Mendoza‐Roca, José A, Vincent‐Vela, Maria C, Pastor‐Alcañiz, Laura
Journal of chemical technology and biotechnology 2018 v.93 no.1 pp. 72-79
chemical oxygen demand, fouling, industry, membrane bioreactors, microbial activity, nutrients, olives, organic matter, oxygen, salt concentration, tannery effluents, wastewater, wastewater treatment
BACKGROUND: An osmotic membrane bioreactor (OMBR) is a wastewater treatment technique that presents low energy requirements, low membrane fouling and high removal of nutrients and organic matter. However, reverse salt flux is the main disadvantage because it causes conductivity increase in the bioreactor. This study compares the performance of a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) and an OMBR in terms of chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal, soluble microbial products (SMP) and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) production. For that, the influent conductivity in the SBR was increased as this increases conductivity in the osmotic membrane bioreactor. RESULTS: Comparing the results obtained at two mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) concentrations in terms of membrane fouling, a concentration of 5 g L⁻¹ of MLSS was chosen for the comparison with the SBR. The SBR achieved slightly higher COD removal efficiencies than the OMBR is spite of the accumulation of cellular debris in the membrane bioreactor. The accumulation of SMP and EPS in the OMBR was also higher than in the SBR due to the cellular debris and organic matter accumulation. In both reactors the microbial activity measured in terms of standard oxygen uptake rate decreased due to the increase of salt concentration in the bioreactor. CONCLUSIONS: As a conclusion, OMBR will be especially feasible when the draw solution is a residual stream of the same industry, like tannery wastewater or table olive processing. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry