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Thermodynamic prediction and experimental investigation of short-term dynamic membrane formation in dynamic membrane bioreactors: Effects of sludge properties

Yu, Zhenzhen, Hu, Yisong, Dzakpasu, Mawuli, Wang, Xiaochang C.
Journal of environmental sciences (China) 2019 v.77 pp. 85-96
adhesion, cohesion, energy, filtrates, filtration, membrane bioreactors, nylon, prediction, sludge, thermodynamics, turbidity
In dynamic membrane bioreactors (DMBRs), a dynamic membrane (DM) forms on a support material to act as the separation membrane for solids and liquids. In this study, batch filtration tests were carried out in a DMBR using nylon mesh (25 μm) as support material to filtrate sludge suspensions of variable properties from three different sources to evaluate the effects on the short-term DM formation process (within 240 min). Furthermore, the extended Derjaguin–Landau–Verwey–Overbeek (XDLVO) theory was applied to analyze the sludge adhesion and cohesion behaviors on the mesh surface to predict quantitative parameters of the short-term DM formation process (including initial formation and maturation stage). The filtration results showed that the order of the initial DM formation time (permeate turbidity <1 NTU as an indicator) was as follows: sludge with poor settleability and dewaterability < normal sludge < sludge with poor flocculability. Moreover, normal sludge (regarding settleability, dewaterability, flocculability, and extracellular polymeric substance) showed a more acceptable DM formation performance (short DM formation time, low permeate turbidity, and high permeate flux) than sludge with poor settleability, dewaterability and flocculability. The influence of sludge properties on the initial DM formation time corroborates the prediction of sludge adhesion behaviors by XDLVO theory. Additionally, the XDLVO calculation results showed that acid–based interaction, energy barrier, and secondary energy minimum were important determinants of the sludge adhesion and cohesion behaviors. Therefore, short-term DM formation process may be enhanced to achieve stable long-term DMBR operation through positive modification of the sludge properties.