Water Science & TechnologyWST Vol 57 No 4 pp 527532 © IWA Publishing 2008 doi:10.2166/wst.2008.096
Anaerobic wastewater treatment and membrane filtration: a one night stand or a sustainable relationship?
D. Jeison, J. B. van Lier and D. Jeison
Sub-department of Environmental Technology, Wageningen University, Bomenweg 2, P.O. Box 8129, 6700EV, Wageningen, The Netherlands E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Chemical Engineering Department, Universidad de La Frontera, Casilla 54-D, Temuco, Chile
Several anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBR) were operated, under various conditions, applying different reactor configurations. Applicable fluxes were strongly determined by the physical properties of the sludge present in the reactors. Results show that particle size is a key determining factor for the attainable fluxes. Under thermophilic conditions, small sludge particle size was observed, resulting in low critical fluxes reaching 67 L/m2 h for the submerged configuration and acidified substrate. In contrast, under mesophilic conditions critical fluxes of 20 L/m2 h were obtained. The acidification level also showed a strong effect. Under thermophilic conditions, the presence of a significant fraction of non-acidified organic matter induced the growth of suspended acidogenic biomass that seriously affected the applicable fluxes, both in submerged and side-stream configurations. Under all conditions tested cake formation showed to be the limiting factor determining the applicable fluxes. Only low levels of irreversible fouling were observed. Due to technical and economical considerations, most interesting perspectives for the application of AnMBR are expected with the treatment of high-strength particulate wastewaters, and with extreme wastewaters characterised by high temperature, salinity, etc.
Keywords: anaerobic digestion; filtration resistance; fouling; MBR; membrane
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