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Water Research
47, No. 1, 2013; Pages: 187 - 196

Effect of quorum quenching on the reactor performance, biofouling and biomass characteristics in membrane bioreactors

Wei Jiang, Siqing Xia, Jun Liang, Zhiqiang Zhang, Slawomir W. Hermanowicz

State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, Tongji University, No. 1239 Siping Road, Shanghai 200092, PR China.


Enzymatic quorum quenching has recently been shown to be a promising approach to mitigate biofouling in membrane filtration processes. However, its universal effectiveness and mechanisms need further research. In this study, acylase was immobilized into sodium alginate capsules for enzymatic quorum quenching in MBRs operated at typical sludge concentrations (MLSS ≈ 10 g/L) for extended period of time. The results showed that quorum quenching influenced sludge characteristics and biofouling, while not impacting pollutant degradation. Better sludge settleability, smaller sludge particle size, less SMP and EPS production, lower apparent viscosity and higher zeta potential of mixed liquor were observed with quorum quenching. Quorum quenching also influenced the characteristics, behavior and function of SMP and EPS, which weakened biofilm formation ability but enhanced membrane filterability.

Keywords: Quorum quenching; Membrane bioreactor (MBR); Biofouling; Biomass characteristics; SMP; EPS



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