This study used a novel integrated technology of ceramic supported carbon membrane (CSCM) to degrade azo dyes through an anaerobic mixed culture. The CSCM worked simultaneously as biofilm support, redox mediator, and nano-filter to enhance the dye decolorization efficiency. The decolorization of Acid Orange 7 (AO7) was initially investigated with and without microorganisms in both ceramic support (CS) and CSCM reactors. The CSCM bioreactor (B-CSCM), operated with microorganisms, gave a maximum decolorization of 98% using a CSCM evolved from 10% weight (wt.) of Matrimid 5218 solution. To know the influence of permeate flow, feed concentration, and dye structure on the decolorization process, different B-CSCMs for dye removal experiments were studied over monoazo AO7, diazo Reactive Black 5 (RB5), and triazo Direct Blue 71 (DB71). The highest color removal, operated with 50 mg·L−1
feed solution and 0.05 L·m−2
of permeate flux, was 98%, 82%, and 72%, respectively, for AO7, RB5, and DB71. By increasing these parameters to 100 mg·L−1
and 0.1 L·m−2
, the decolorization rate of dye solution still achieved 37% for AO7, 30% for RB5, and 26% for DB71. In addition, the system was run for weeks without apparent loss of activity. These findings make evident that the combined phenomena taking place in CSCM bioreactor result in an efficient, cost-effective, and ecofriendly azo dye decolorization method.
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