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Anaerobic submerged membrane bioreactor (AnSMBR) treating municipal wastewater at ambient temperature: Operation and potential use for agricultural irrigation

Peña, Mar, do Nascimento, Thiago, Gouveia, Joao, Escudero, Julián, Gómez, Alicia, Letona, Alberto, Arrieta, Javier, Fdz-Polanco, Fernando
Bioresource technology 2019 v.282 pp. 285-293
ambient temperature, chemical oxygen demand, gas production (biological), inoculum, irrigated farming, membrane bioreactors, methane production, municipal wastewater, summer, winter
A 496 L pilot scale anaerobic submerged membrane bioreactor (AnSMBR) for the treatment of municipal wastewater was evaluated during a year of stable operation at ambient (28–10 °C) temperature, and inoculated with mesophilic inoculum. The temperature was the main parameter affecting the process performance. The chemical oxygen demand (COD) of the effluent was around 150 mg O2/L in the summer period, operating with a volumetric loading rate (VLR) of 5 kg COD/m3 d and hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 8–10 h, with a specific methane production between 0.09 and 0.14 Nm3/kg CODremoved. However, during the winter season, an important increase of effluent COD was observed, and therefore the VLR was decreased to values around 1 kg COD/m3 d in order to recover the quality of the effluent. Biogas production was negligible in this period. The effluent complies with the parameters stipulated by Spanish law regarding the use of treated wastewater for agricultural irrigation.