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Potential effects of loading nano zero valent iron discharged on membrane fouling in an anoxic/oxic membrane bioreactor

Zhou, Lijie, Zhuang, Weiqin, Wang, Xin, Yu, Ke, Yang, Shufang, Xia, Siqing
Water research 2017 v.111 pp. 140-146
activated sludge, bacteria, biomass, death, flocculation, fouling, iron, membrane bioreactors, municipal wastewater, oxidative stress, particle size, reactive oxygen species, silicon, volatile organic compounds
A laboratory-scale submerged anoxic-oxic membrane bioreactor for municipal wastewater was operated to investigate the potential effects of loading suspended nano zero valent iron (nZVI, 25 and 50 mg/L) discharged on the membrane fouling. nZVI transformed rapidly into Feⁿ⁺, generated reactive oxygen species (ROS) and caused oxidative stress. This result rapidly led to the cell lysis and bacteria death, and further resulted in the decrease of biomass and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). nZVI also thinned the membrane fouling layer. But nZVI had no obvious effects on activated sludge particle size, EPS molecule weight distribution and VOCs constitution of membrane foulant. Additionally, nZVI released Feⁿ⁺ and mitigated the inorganic (mainly Si element) fouling through Feⁿ⁺ flocculation. Consequently, membrane fouling mitigation with nZVI discharged was mainly due to oxidative stress to bacteria and Feⁿ⁺ flocculation of nZVI.