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Of the parameters selected to evaluate the effluent quality, turbidity and COD concentration registered statistically significant differences (Table 2) between the sonicated systems and the conventional MBR plant. Other parameters evaluated, such as effluent absorbance at 254 nm (Abs254) and effluent colour at 436 nm (Colour436), showed similar values for all the effluents. The resulting values showed a great stability, and no statistically significant differences were found regarding these parameters (Table 2).

Table 2

ANOVA and Student–Newman–Keuls test (p < 0.01) for effluent quality parameters

  40 Hz30 Hz25 Hz20 HzMBRp-value
Turbidity NTU 2.08 ± 0.45a 1.93 ± 0.59a 1.97 ± 0.65a 1.85 ± 0.54a 1.23 ± 0.48b 0.0001 
Abs254 m−1 0.142 ± 0.017 0.138 ± 0.015 0.138 ± 0.014 0.133 ± 0.017 0.136 ± 0.015 0.2170 
Colour436 m−1 0.014 ± 0.005 0.013 ± 0.003 0.014 ± 0.003 0.014 ± 0.004 0.014 ± 0.004 0.8440 
COD mgO2/L 25.85 ± 12.90a,b 27.24 ± 11.96a,b 26.08 ± 13.94a,b 32.71 ± 16.25a 21.05 ± 14.66b 0.0250 
  40 Hz30 Hz25 Hz20 HzMBRp-value
Turbidity NTU 2.08 ± 0.45a 1.93 ± 0.59a 1.97 ± 0.65a 1.85 ± 0.54a 1.23 ± 0.48b 0.0001 
Abs254 m−1 0.142 ± 0.017 0.138 ± 0.015 0.138 ± 0.014 0.133 ± 0.017 0.136 ± 0.015 0.2170 
Colour436 m−1 0.014 ± 0.005 0.013 ± 0.003 0.014 ± 0.003 0.014 ± 0.004 0.014 ± 0.004 0.8440 
COD mgO2/L 25.85 ± 12.90a,b 27.24 ± 11.96a,b 26.08 ± 13.94a,b 32.71 ± 16.25a 21.05 ± 14.66b 0.0250 

a,bDifferent letters mean significant statistical differences between groups.

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