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Water Research
Vol. 127, 2017, Pages: 22–31

Assessing membrane biofouling and its gel layer of anoxic/oxic membrane bioreactor for megacity municipal wastewater treatment during plum rain season in Yangtze River Delta, China

Lijie Zhou, Biao Ye, Siqing Xia

College of Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, PR China.

Abstract

This study assessed membrane biofouling and its gel layer of anoxic/oxic membrane bioreactor (A/O-MBR) for megacity municipal wastewater treatment during plum rain season, which was continuous rainy weather, in Yangtze River Delta, China. A laboratory-scale A/O-MBR was operated to treat the municipal wastewater from Quyang wastewater treatment plant, which located at the typical megacity of Shanghai in Yangtze River Delta, from April to July accompanying with plum rain season. As reactor performance showed, CODCr, NH4+-N, TN, TP of the influent gradually decreased during plum rain season, and inhibited pollutant removal due to organic carbon shortage. However, dissolve inorganic carbon and inorganic components in mixed liquid had an obvious increase under rainy weather. Membrane filtration results indicated that plum rain season enhanced pore blocking behavior, further leading to the serious membrane biofouling but inhibiting gel layer formation. Additionally, gel layer analysis predicted that plum rain season led to plenty of inorganic components and precipitate flew into A/O-MBR reactor. Inorganic components with elements of Ca, Mg Ba, Fe, Al and Si seriously blocked membrane pores. Those components also accumulated into gel layer in the form of SiO2, CaCO3, CaSiO3, MgNH4,PO4,BaCO3, AlPO4, etc. Consequently, plum rain season enhanced pore blocking behavior and led to severe membrane biofouling but with the inhibition of gel layer formation.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Membrane bioreactor; Membrane biofouling; Gel layer; Megacity municipal wastewater; Plum rain season.

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