Assessing membrane fouling and the performance of pilot-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR) to treat real municipal wastewater during winter season in Nordic regions

Khum Gurung, Mohamed Chaker Ncibi, Mika Sillanpää

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, the performance of a pilot-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR) to treat real municipal wastewater was assessed at low temperatures (7 to 20 °C) in Nordic regions. First, the effect of low temperatures on membrane fouling was evaluated by monitoring trans-membrane pressure. A significant membrane fouling was observed when the sludge temperature inside the MBR unit was below 10 °C with a 75% permeability drop, thus indicating high deterioration of the membrane performance at low temperatures. Moreover, increasing values of sludge volume index (SVI) during low temperatures showed high deterioration of sludge settleability. As for the pollution removal, MBR achieved high performances primarily for pathogens and emerging micropollutants. The average log reductions of 1.82, 3.02, and 1.94 log units were achieved for norovirus GI, norovirus GII, and adenoviruses, respectively. Among the four trace organic compounds (TrOCs), the average removal efficiencies of bisoprolol, diclofenac and bisphenol A were 65%, 38%, and > 97%, respectively. However, carbamazepine was not efficiently removed (‐89% to 28%). Regarding trace metals, an average removal of > 80% was achieved for Cd, Pb, and V. For the rest of the metals, the removal capacities were between 30 and 60%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1289-1297
Number of pages9
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume579
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Emerging micropollutants
  • Low temperature
  • Membrane bioreactor
  • Membrane fouling
  • Municipal wastewater
  • Pathogens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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