Bioresource Technology, Vol.266, 51-59, 2018
The characteristic evolution of soluble microbial product and its effects on membrane fouling during the development of sponge membrane bioreactor coupled with fiber bundle anoxic bio-filter for treating saline wastewater
Membrane fouling mitigation was observed during the development of novel sponge membrane bioreactor coupled with fiber bundle anoxic bio-filter (AF-MBMBR). Soluble microbial product (SMP) was found to be positively correlated with membrane fouling. To further clarify the mechanism of fouling mitigation, the effects of bio-carriers (sponge and fiber bundles) on characteristics and fouling potential of SMP were investigated. Characterization of SMP implied that as a consequence of employing bio-carriers, tyrosine and tryptophan in SMP significantly decreased, instead relative proportions of humic and fulvic acids increased. Meanwhile, batch filtration tests demonstrated that fouling potential of SMP was significantly alleviated, flux decline caused by filtrating SMP decreased from 84.5% to 60.1%. Further analysis on foulants and filtrate revealed that proteins performed high adhesion propensity on membrane while humic and fulvic acids mainly can pass through the membrane; this finding could well explain the mitigation of SMP fouling potential induced by bio-carriers.