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Fouling control of submerged and side-stream membrane bioreactors based on the statistical analysis of mid-term assays
Journal of Cleaner Production. 2021, V. 326, 129336
Fecha de publicación
The response surface methodology has been applied to study reversible and irreversible fouling rates caused by anaerobic sludge in membrane bioreactors, with the aim of controlling membrane fouling by adjusting filtration conditions. The challenge of obtaining statistically significant results of long-term fouling by means of mid-term assays has been addressed. The individual and combined effects of the filtration flux, backwashing intensity, gas sparging and crossflow velocity on membrane fouling, were analyzed in two types of membranes: an external tubular membrane and a submerged hollow fiber membrane. In the external membrane, the reversible fouling rate was as low as 0.27 ± 0.10 mbar/min, depending mainly on the filtration flux and gas sparging. However, the principal control parameter of the irreversible fouling rate was the crossflow velocity, reaching 2.12 ± 1.75 1012 m−2 in terms of increase of resistance per cubic meter filtered by square meter of membrane. In the submerged membrane, the irreversible fouling rate was quite lower, 0.78 ± 0.40 mbar/d, despite the reversible fouling rate was higher, 1.26 ± 0.42 mbar/min. In this case, the irreversible fouling depended mainly on the backwashing frequency despite the reversible fouling was more affected by the filtration flux and gas sparging. Hence, the approach used to control the reversible fouling rate does not involve mitigating irreversible fouling on both submerged and external membranes. This study provides a methodological basis for the selection of site-specific operating conditions, under which sustainable operation of membrane bioreactors could be achieved.
Reversible and irreversible fouling rates
Box-behnken experimental design
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