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Open AccessArticle

Using Additives for Fouling Control in a Lab-Scale MBR; Comparing the Anti-Fouling Potential of Coagulants, PAC and Bio-Film Carriers

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Laboratory of Chemical and Environmental Technology, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
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Analytic Chemistry Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Membranes 2020, 10(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10030042
Received: 22 January 2020 / Revised: 6 March 2020 / Accepted: 11 March 2020 / Published: 12 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Membrane Bioreactors)
This study investigates the effect of different additives, such as coagulants/flocculants, adsorption agents (powdered activated carbon, PAC), and bio-film carriers, on the fouling propensity of a lab-scale membrane bio-reactor (MBR) treating synthetic municipal wastewater. The coagulation agents FO 4350 SSH, Adifloc KD 451, and PAC1 A9-M at concentrations of 10 mg/L, 10 mg/L, and 100 mg Al/L, respectively, and PAC at a concentration of 3.6 ± 0.1 g/L, exhibited the best results during their batch-mode addition to biomass samples. The optimal additives FO 4350 SSH and Adifloc KD 451 were continuously added to the bioreactor at continuous-flow addition experiments and resulted in increased membrane lifetime by 16% and 13%, respectively, suggesting that the decrease of SMPc concentration and the increase of sludge filterability is the dominant fouling reduction mechanism. On the contrary, fouling reduction was low when PAC1 A9-M and PAC were continuously added, as the membrane lifetime was increased by approximately 6%. Interestingly, the addition of bio-film carriers (at filling ratios of 40%, 50%, and 60%) did not affect SMPc concentration, sludge filterability, and trans-membrane pressure (TMP). Finally, the effluent quality was satisfactory in terms of organics and ammonia removal, as chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)5, and NH 4 + -N concentrations were consistently below the permissible discharge limits and rarely exceeded 30, 15, and 0.9 mg/L, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: membrane bio-reactors; membrane fouling; biomass additives; coagulants/flocculants; powdered activated carbon; bio-film carriers membrane bio-reactors; membrane fouling; biomass additives; coagulants/flocculants; powdered activated carbon; bio-film carriers
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Gkotsis, P.; Zouboulis, A.; Mitrakas, M. Using Additives for Fouling Control in a Lab-Scale MBR; Comparing the Anti-Fouling Potential of Coagulants, PAC and Bio-Film Carriers. Membranes 2020, 10, 42.

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