Aniline aerofloat (DDA) is a widely used material in China and has become a main pollutant in floatation wastewater. In this study, a membrane reactor (MBR) was constructed to continuously treat simulated wastewater contaminated with DDA. The study investigated the hydraulic retention time (HRT) and the impact of influent DDA concentration on MBR performance, and analyzed intermediates from the DDA biodegradation pathway and activated sludge transfer pathway. The results showed that a 3 h HRT was an efficient and economical time period for MBR to remove 95 ± 5 mg/L DDA from the simulated wastewater; the chemical oxygen demand reduction rate was 89.9%. DDA concentration negatively impacted MBR performance. MBR performance fluctuated slightly when HRT was 3 h, dissolved oxygen ranged from 4.8 to 5.3 mg/L, pH was between 6.5 and 7.0, and DDA concentrations were at 95 ± 5 mg/L DDA. The transfer pathway in the activated sludge of DDA was through soluble microbial products, loosely bound extracellular polymeric substances, tightly bound extracellular polymeric substances, and finally cell biodegradation. DDA initially degraded to aniline; the aniline was further biodegraded to other organic compounds and was finally mineralized through the tricarboxylic acid cycle. This study offers a new continuous biological treatment technology to address DDA.

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