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Advances in Environmental Research
  Volume 7, Number 1, March 2018 , pages 39-52

Direct membrane filtration of wastewater under very short hydraulic retention time
Seong-Hoon Yoon

    Direct membrane filtration (DMF) of wastewater has many advantages over conventional biological wastewater treatment processes. DMF is not only compact, but potentially energy efficient due to the lack of biological aeration. It also produces more biosolids that can be used to produce methane gas through anaerobic digestion. Most of ammoniacal nitrogen in wastewater is preserved in effluent and is used as fertilizer when effluent is recycled for irrigation. In this study, a technical feasibility of DMF was explored. Organic and nitrogen removal efficiencies were compared between DMF and membrane bioreactor (MBR). Despite the extremely high F/V ratio, e.g., 14.4 kg COD/m3/d, DMF provided very high COD removal efficiencies at ~93%. Soluble microbial products (SMP) and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) were less in DMF sludge, but membrane fouling rate was far greater than in MBR. The diversity of microbial community in DMF appeared very narrow based on the morphological observation using optical microscope. On the contrary, highly diverse microbial community was observed in the MBR. Microorganisms tended to form jelly globs and attach on reactor wall in DMF. FT-IR study revealed that the biological globs were structurally supported by feather-like materials made of secondary amines. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) study showed microorganisms mainly resided on the external surface of microbial globs rather than the internal spaces.
Key Words
    wastewater treatment; biodegradation; nitrogen; nitrate
Seong-Hoon Yoon: Nalco Water, An Ecolab Company, 1601 W. Diehl Rd., Naperville, IL 60563, U.S.A.

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