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Effect of PVA-gel filling ratio in attached growth membrane bioreactor for treating polluted surface water

Li, Lu, Visvanathan, C.
Environmental technology 2019 v.40 no.2 pp. 219-225
bioactive properties, biodegradation, bioprocessing, environmental technology, fouling, gels, membrane bioreactors, oxygen, pollutants, polyvinyl alcohol, surface water
Surface water has been facing increasing loads of various types of organic contamination due to human activities. Attached growth membrane bioreactor (aMBR) has been reported as a promising approach in treating polluted surface water. By using bio-carrier to provide biodegradation and utilize organic pollutants as substrates, aMBR was able to integrate biodegradation and physical rejection in one system. The filling ratio of polyvinyl alcohol gel (PVA-gel), which is an important bioprocess contributor in an aMBR system, was analyzed by batch test and lab-scale aMBR in this study. Batch test with various filling ratios (2%, 5%, 10%, 15% and 30%) were carried out. Oxygen uptake rate (OUR) and specific oxygen uptake rate were used for the comparison of bioactivities. Five percent filling ratio had the highest OUR results of 3.6 mg/L h obtained from the batch test. The chosen filling ratios were tested in a lab-scale aMBR system with hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 1, 2, 2.5 and 3 h. Results shown that at HRT 2.5 h, the aMBR system had the lowest membrane fouling. PVA-gel was able to reject more organic matters than a naturally immobilized membrane bioreactor system, and thus mitigated membrane fouling in the aMBR system.