Experimental studies on chemical and biological pretreatments in membrane filtration processes were carried out to removal manganese contained in raw water and to prevent membrane fouling due to manganese. Two types of the pretreatment reactors, i.e. the fluidised-bed and fixed-bed configurations, were compared in the biological pretreatment experiments. New synthetic media (tubular polypropylene, I.D. 3 mm, O.D. 4 mm, length 5 mm) were used in all three experiments as a manganese-oxidising catalyst. The chemical pretreatment using sodium hypochlorite was effective in manganese removal and controlling membrane fouling; more than 0.8 mg-Cl2/L of chlorine dose was necessary to bring the manganese concentration from 0.4 mg/L in raw water to less than 0.05 mg/L. The biological pretreatment for manganese removal required a long start-up period of more than 40 days. The fixed-bed biological pretreatment was superior in manganese removal and in control of membrane fouling to the fluidised-bed biological pretreatment, which showed wash-out of the attached bacteria resulting in membrane fouling. The linear velocity and the empty-bed retention time required for the treatment of 0.14 mg-Mn/L in the fixed-bed biological pretreatment was 206 m/d and 8.0 minutes, respectively.

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