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Effect of powdered activated carbon dosage on sludge properties and membrane bioreactor performance in a hybrid MBR-PAC system

Zhang, Shi, Zuo, Xingtao, Xiong, Juan, Ma, Cong, Hu, Bo
Environmental technology 2019 v.40 no.9 pp. 1156-1165
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, absorption, activated carbon, filterability, fouling, membrane bioreactors, microfiltration, models, organic carbon, polysaccharides, proteins, sludge
An improved insight into the effect of powdered activated carbon (PAC) on membrane fouling is crucial to the MBR performance. Sludge key property, soluble microbial products (SMP) and transmembrane pressure (TMP) were monitored. The membrane fouling rate in the MBRs was also analyzed based on TMP profile and resistance-in-series model. PAC reduced the membrane filtration resistance and significantly decreased the fouling rate. The sludge filterability was improved by extending the filtration time by almost twofold. PAC affected the SMP release and protein/polysaccharide (carbohydrate) was in a lower ratio. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis indicated that PAC decreased the impact of organic carbon, and reduced the proteins’ and polysaccharides’ absorption and deposition on the membrane surface and in the pores. The degree of reversible and irreversible fouling was related to the PAC content added into the MBRs. At the optimum dosage of 2 g/L, the results signified the PAC potential as a mitigation strategy of membrane fouling.