The effects of poly aluminum chloride (PACl) dosing positions on the performance of a pilot scale anoxic/oxic membrane bioreactor were investigated. PACl dosage was optimized at 19.5 mg Al2O3/L by jar test. Nutrients removal efficiencies and sludge properties were systematically investigated during periods with no PACl dosing (phase I), with PACl dosing in oxic tank (phase II) and then in anoxic tank (phase III). The results showed that total phosphorus removal efficiency increased from 18 to 88% in phase II and 85% in phase III with less than 0.5 mg P/L in effluent. Ammonia nitrogen removal efficiencies reached 99% in all phases and chemical oxygen demand removal efficiencies reached 92%, 91% and 90% in the three phases, respectively. Total nitrogen removal efficiency decreased from 59% in phase I to 49% in phases II and III. Dosing PACl in the oxic tank resulted in smaller sludge particle size, higher zeta potential, better sludge settleability and lower membrane fouling rate in comparison with dosing PACl in the anoxic tank.

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