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Mechanism analyses of high specific filtration resistance of gel and roles of gel elasticity related with membrane fouling in a membrane bioreactor

Teng, Jiaheng, Shen, Liguo, Yu, Genying, Wang, Fangyuan, Li, Fengquan, Zhou, Xiaoling, He, Yiming, Lin, Hongjun
Bioresource technology 2018 v.257 pp. 39-46
agar, filtration, fouling, gels, membrane bioreactors, mixing, simulation models
In this study, mechanisms and roles of gel elasticity in extremely high specific filtration resistance (SFR) were investigated. It was found that, as compared with cake layer in a membrane bioreactor (MBR), real gel layer in the MBR and agar gel possessed extremely high SFR. Foulant characterization showed that foulants were easy to bind water, and agar gel possessed a network structure. Mechanisms based on Flory-Huggins and Flory-Rehner models were deduced to describe the high SFR of agar gel. Model simulation showed that sum of SFR induced by the mixing chemical potential and the elastic chemical potential change is close to that of the agar gel, suggesting feasibility of the deduced models. Gel elasticity accounted for about 13% of total SFR of agar gel under conditions in this study. This study satisfactorily explained the extremely high SFR of gel, and addressed roles of gel elasticity in gel SFR.