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Membrane distillation as post-treatment for anaerobic fluidized bed membrane bioreactor for organic and nitrogen removal

Tibi, Fida, Guo, Jing, Ahmad, Rizwan, Lim, Michael, Kim, Minseok, Kim, Jeonghwan
Chemosphere 2019 v.234 pp. 756-762
chemical oxygen demand, direct contact, distillation, fatty acids, fluidized beds, fouling, membrane bioreactors, nitrogen, temperature, thermoplastics, total nitrogen, wastewater
To observe feasibility of membrane distillation (MD) as post-treatment for anaerobic fluidized bed membrane bioreactor (AFMBR), removals of organic and total nitrogen were investigated by using the commercial polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) membrane for direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) at various operational conditions. Test solutions for MD experiments were permeate produced by staged AFMBR (SAF-MBR), permeate from single AFMBR and synthetic wastewater fed to both reactors. Increasing in feed temperature improved permeate flux through PVDF membrane, but it decreased total nitrogen (TN) removal efficiency. Effect of chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentrations in feed solutions for DCMD on TN removal efficiency was almost negligible. However, the COD removal efficiency was lower at lower feed concentration in DCMD operation. At constant feed temperature, TN removal efficiency was improved by increasing a recirculation flow rate on PVDF membrane across DCMD system. Both organic and inorganic fouling were observed on PVDF membrane surface and pore matrix after conducting DCMD operation. The organic fouling on PVDF membrane consisted mainly of protein and fatty acids, supporting that the permeate produced by AFMBR should have potentials to foul the membrane applied in DCMD system as post-treatment.