Evolution and accumulation of organic foulants on hydrophobic and hydrophilic membrane surfaces in a submerged membrane bioreactor

Gerald Matar, G. Gonzalez-Gil, H. Maab, Suzana Pereira Nunes, J.S. Vrouwenvelder, Pascal Saikaly

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Abstract

    Membrane surface modification is attracting more attention to mitigate biofouling in membrane bioreactors (MBRs). Five membranes differing in chemistry and hydrophobic/hydrophilic potential were run in parallel in a lab-scale MBR under the same conditions. Membranes were sampled after 1, 10, 20 and 30 days of MBR operation with synthetic wastewater. Subsequently, accumulated organic foulants were characterised using several chemical analytical tools. Results showed similar development of organic foulants with time, illustrating that membrane surface chemistry did not affect the selection of specific organic foulants. Multivariate analysis showed that biofilm samples clustered according to the day of sampling. The composition of organic foulants shifted from protein-like substances towards humics and polysaccharides-like substances. We propose that to control biofouling in MBRs, one should focus less on the membrane surface chemistry.
    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationInternational Water Association (IWA)
    StatePublished - Sep 7 2015

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