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Membrane Water Treatment   Volume 8, Number 5, September 2017, pages 395-409
Utilization of aerobic granulation to mitigate membrane fouling in MBRs
Oliver T. Iorhemen, Rania A. Hamza and Joo Hwa Tay

Abstract     [Buy Article]
    Membrane bioreactor (MBR) is a compact and efficient wastewater treatment and reclamation technology; but, it is limited by membrane fouling. The control of membrane fouling significantly increases operational and maintenance costs. Bacteria and their byproducts - extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) - are major contributors to membrane fouling in MBRs. A recent attempt at fouling mitigation is the development of aerobic granular sludge membrane bioreactor (AGMBR) through the integration of a novel biotechnology - aerobic granulation - and MBR. This paper provides an overview on the development of AGMBR to mitigate membrane fouling caused by bacteria and EPS. In AGMBR, EPS are used up in granule formation; and, the rigid structure of granules provides a surface for bacteria to attach to rather than the membrane surface. Preliminary research on AGMBR using synthetic wastewater show remarkable membrane fouling reduction compared to conventional MBR, thus improved membrane filtration. Enhanced performance in AGMBR using actual municipal wastewater at pilot-scale has also been reported. Therefore, further research is needed to determine AGMBR optimal operational conditions to enhance granule stability in long-term operations and in full-scale applications.
Key Words
    aerobic granulation; AGMBR; membrane bioreactor (MBR); membrane fouling; wastewater treatment
Oliver T. Iorhemen, Rania A. Hamza and Joo Hwa Tay : Department of Civil Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary,
AB., T2N 1N4, Canada

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