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Effect of quorum quenching on biofouling and ammonia removal in membrane bioreactor under stressful conditions

Yu, Huarong, Qu, Fangshu, Zhang, Xiaolei, Wang, Peng, Li, Guibai, Liang, Heng
Chemosphere 2018 v.199 pp. 114-121
acetonitrile, ammonia, bacteria, biofouling, membrane bioreactors, nitrification, nitrification inhibitors, temperature
Quorum quenching (QQ) has been used to control biofouling in membrane bioreactors (MBRs), but the effect of QQ on the performance of MBR has not been systematically studied. This study investigated the effect of QQ on ammonia removal in MBR especially in some stressful conditions. The results showed that membrane fouling was effectively alleviated by QQ in all conditions. For the short HRT (3.94 h), the ammonia removal in QQ-MBR was fluctuating. In the presence of nitrification inhibitors (acetonitrile and allylthiourea) or at low temperature (10 °C), QQ induced much more significant suppression on nitrification in batch test and MBR. The number of the ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) was not decreasing in these situations, which indicated that QQ only suppressed the activity of AOB. In all, comprehensive considerations should be taken into account when applying a QS tuning strategy to a bioreactor.