Biomass retention, required for high rate anaerobic wastewater treatment, can be accomplished coupling an anaerobic bioreactor with membrane filtration. However, low flux seems to be a common factor when operating anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs). Modification of biomass properties may represent a strategy for improving membrane flux. The addition of flocculants was tested as a tool for flux increase. Six different products were tested in dead-end filtration experiments. Based on the results, two products were selected for cross-flow tests. The one presenting better performance (Nalco MPE50) was tested in a laboratory-scale continuous AnMBR. Results show that the flocculant was able to substantially increase flux. Indeed, the flux-increasing effect was observed for several weeks after flocculant addition. Therefore, the use of flocculants seems to be an interesting tool to cope with temporary increases in required flux.
Use of flocculants for increasing permeate flux in anaerobic membrane bioreactors
H. Díaz, L. Azócar, A. Torres, S. I. C. Lopes, D. Jeison; Use of flocculants for increasing permeate flux in anaerobic membrane bioreactors. Water Sci Technol 1 June 2014; 69 (11): 2237–2242. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2014.153
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