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Open AccessArticle

Fouling Mitigation by Cationic Polymer Addition into a Pilot-Scale Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor Fed with Blackwater

1
Department of Water Management, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands
2
Aqualia, Rúa das Pontes 4, 36350 Nigrán, Pontevedra, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Present address: KWR Water Research Institute, Groningenhaven 7, 3430 BB Nieuwegein, The Netherlands.
Polymers 2020, 12(10), 2383; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12102383
Received: 23 September 2020 / Revised: 12 October 2020 / Accepted: 14 October 2020 / Published: 16 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Wastewater Purification)
Cationic polymers have proven to be suitable flux enhancers (FEs) in large-scale aerobic membrane bioreactors (MBRs), whereas in anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) research is scarce, and so far, only done at lab-scale. Results from MBRs cannot be directly translated to AnMBRs because the extent and nature of membrane fouling under anaerobic and aerobic conditions are different. Our research focused on the long-term effect of dosing the cationic polymer Adifloc KD451 to a pilot AnMBR, fed with source-separated domestic blackwater. A single dosage of Adifloc KD451 at 50 mg L−1 significantly enhanced the filtration performance in the AnMBR, revealed by a decrease in both fouling rate and total filtration resistance. Nevertheless, FE addition had an immediate negative effect on the specific methanogenic activity (SMA), but this was a reversible process that had no adverse effect on permeate quality or chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal in the AnMBR. Moreover, the FE had a long-term positive effect on AnMBR filtration performance and sludge filterability. These findings indicate that dosing Adifloc KD451 is a suitable strategy for fouling mitigation in AnMBRs because it led to a long-term improvement in filtration performance, while having no significant adverse effects on permeate quality or COD removal. View Full-Text
Keywords: anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR); cationic polymer; flux enhancer; membrane fouling; pilot plant; sludge filterability anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR); cationic polymer; flux enhancer; membrane fouling; pilot plant; sludge filterability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Odriozola, M.; Morales, N.; Vázquez-Padín, J.R.; Lousada-Ferreira, M.; Spanjers, H.; van Lier, J.B. Fouling Mitigation by Cationic Polymer Addition into a Pilot-Scale Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor Fed with Blackwater. Polymers 2020, 12, 2383.

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