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Development of graphene oxide/chitosan composite membrane on ceramic support for atrazine remediation by MBR process

Mukherjee, Debarati, Dewanjee, Ashmita, Ghosh, Sourja, Majumdar, Swachchha
Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 v.25 no.33 pp. 33334-33352
asymmetric membranes, atrazine, biodegradation, ceramics, chitosan, coatings, equations, fouling, graphene oxide, hydrophilicity, membrane bioreactors, models, porous media, remediation, response surface methodology, statistical analysis, toxicity, ultrafiltration
Graphene oxide (GO)-based composite ultrafiltration (UF) membranes were prepared on macroporous ceramic support tubes following a new way. Chitosan was used as an intermediate matrix between the substrate and GO coating. It has hydroxyl and amine groups, which enhances its film forming capacity with hydrophilic GO. This led us to use them as precursors for membrane development. Process efficiency of the prepared UF membrane was assessed in terms of the removal of toxic pesticide atrazine in side-stream membrane bioreactor (MBR) processes. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to optimize the atrazine biodegradation efficiency. Enhanced atrazine removal of > 95% was obtained in the MBR treatment at the optimized conditions. Hermia’s model equations were applied to analyze the mechanism of membrane fouling in the UF-MBR system. The influencing parameters were studied in details and pneumatic backpulsing was applied to minimize fouling in the UF-MBR system by statistical analysis. Mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) was found to affect both atrazine biodegradation and membrane fouling; hence, its effect was thoroughly analyzed. The developed process hence proved to be highly proficient in terms of such organic pesticides removal for long-term operations.