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Article

SMP Production in an Anaerobic Submerged Membrane Bioreactor (AnMBR) at Different Organic Loading Rates

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Environmental Engineering Research Center (CIIA), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Universidad de Los Andes, Cra. 1 #18a 12, Bogotá 111711, Colombia
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Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC), Biological and Environmental Science & Engineering (BESE), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia
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Escuela de Ciencias, Agrícolas, Pecuarias y del Medio Ambiente, Universidad Nacional Abierta y a Distancia, Calle 14 Sur # 23 - 14, Bogotá 551015, Colombia
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Facultad de Ingeniería Ambiental, Universidad Antonio Nariño, Calle 22 Sur # 12D - 81, Bogotá 111511, Colombia
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Department of Chemical and Food Engineering, School of Engineering, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá 111711, Colombia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Membranes 2020, 10(11), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10110317
Received: 8 August 2020 / Revised: 17 September 2020 / Accepted: 18 September 2020 / Published: 30 October 2020
Anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) have demonstrated an excellent capability to treat domestic wastewater. However, biofouling reduces membrane permeability, increasing operational costs and overall energy demand. Soluble microbial products (SMPs) that build up on the membrane surface play a significant role in the biofouling. In this study, the production of SMPs in a 32 L submerged AnMBR operated at three different organic loads (3.0, 4.1 and 1.2 kg chemical oxygen demand (COD)/m3d for phases 1, 2 and 3, respectively) during long-term operation of the reactor (144, 83 and 94 days) were evaluated. The samples were taken from both the permeate and the sludge at three different heights (0.14, 0.44 and 0.75 m). Higher production of SMPs was obtained in phase 2, which was proportional to the membrane fouling. There were no statistically significant differences (p > 0.05) in the SMPs extracted from sludge at different heights among the three phases. In the permeate of phases 1, 2 and 3, the membrane allowed the removal of 56%, 70% and 64% of the SMP concentration in the sludge. SMPs were characterized by molecular weight (MW). A bimodal behavior was obtained, where fractions prevailed with an MW < 1 kDa, associated with SMPs as utilization-associated products (UAPs) caused fouling by the pore-blocking mechanism. The chemical analysis found that, in the SMPs, the unknown COD predominated over the known COD, such as carbohydrates and proteins. These results suggest that further studies in SMP characterization should focus on the unknown COD fraction to understand the membrane fouling in AnMBR systems better. View Full-Text
Keywords: anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR); membrane fouling; soluble microbial products (SMPs); wastewater treatment anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR); membrane fouling; soluble microbial products (SMPs); wastewater treatment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Medina, S.C.; Zamora-Vacca, N.; Luna, H.J.; Ratkovich, N.; Rodríguez Susa, M. SMP Production in an Anaerobic Submerged Membrane Bioreactor (AnMBR) at Different Organic Loading Rates. Membranes 2020, 10, 317. https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10110317

AMA Style

Medina SC, Zamora-Vacca N, Luna HJ, Ratkovich N, Rodríguez Susa M. SMP Production in an Anaerobic Submerged Membrane Bioreactor (AnMBR) at Different Organic Loading Rates. Membranes. 2020; 10(11):317. https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10110317

Chicago/Turabian Style

Medina, Sandra C., Nataly Zamora-Vacca, Hector J. Luna, Nicolas Ratkovich, and Manuel Rodríguez Susa. 2020. "SMP Production in an Anaerobic Submerged Membrane Bioreactor (AnMBR) at Different Organic Loading Rates" Membranes 10, no. 11: 317. https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10110317

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