Relation between EPS adherence, viscoelastic properties, and MBR operation: Biofouling study with QCM-D.
ABSTRACT Membrane fouling is one of the main constraints of the wide use of membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology. The biomass in MBR systems includes extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), metabolic products of active microbial secretion that adversely affect the membrane performance. Solids retention time (SRT) in the MBR is one of the most important parameters affecting membrane fouling in MBR systems, where fouling is minimized at optimal SRT. Among the operating parameters in MBR systems, SRT is known to strongly influence the ratio of proteins to polysaccharides in the EPS matrix. In this study, we have direct evidence for changes in EPS adherence and viscoelastic properties due to changes in the sludge removal rate that strongly correlate with the membrane fouling rate and EPS composition. EPS were extracted from a UF membrane in a hybrid growth MBR operated at sludge removal rates of 59, 35.4, 17.7, and 5.9 L day(-1) (corresponding SRT of 3, 5, 10, and 30 days, respectively). The EPS adherence and adsorption kinetics were carried out in a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) technology in several adsorption measurements to a gold sensor coated with Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF). EPS adsorption to the sensor surface is characterized by a decrease of the oscillation frequency and an increase in the dissipation energy of the sensor during parallel flow of aqueous media, supplemented with EPS, above the sensor surface. The results from these experiments were further modeled using the Voigt based model, in which the thickness, shear modulus, and shear viscosity values of the adsorbed EPS layers on the PVDF crystal were calculated. The observations in the QCM-D suggested that the elevated fouling of the UF membrane is due to higher adherence of the EPS as well as reduction in viscosity and elasticity of the EPS adsorbed layer and elevation of the EPS fluidity. These results corroborate with confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) image analysis showing thicker EPS in close proximity to the membrane surface operated at reactor conditions which induced more fouling at elevated sludge removal rates.
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ABSTRACT: Microbial effects are believed to be a major contributor to membrane fouling in drinking water treatment. Sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) is commonly applied in membrane cleaning, but its potential use as a pretreatment for controlling operational fouling has received little attention. In this study, the effect of adding a continuous low dose of NaClO (1 mg/l as active Cl) in combination with alum, before ultrafiltration, was compared with only alum as pretreatment. The results showed that the addition of NaClO substantially reduced membrane fouling both in terms of the rate of TMP development and the properties of the membrane cake layer. Although the size of nano-scale primary coagulant flocs changed little by the addition of NaClO, the cake layer on the membrane had a greater porosity and a substantially reduced thickness. NaClO was found to inactivate bacteria in the influent flow, which reduced both microbial proliferation and the production of proteins and polysaccharides in the cake layer and contributed significantly to improving the overall ultrafiltration performance. NaClO dosing had no adverse impact on the formation of currently regulated disinfection by-product compounds (THMs and HAAs).Scientific reports. 01/2014; 4:6513.
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ABSTRACT: An anoxic-aerobic membrane bioreactor was established to investigate the role of microorganisms and microbial metabolites in membrane fouling at different temperatures. The results showed that the membrane fouling cycle at 303, 293, and 283K were 30, 29, and 5.5days, respectively. Polysaccharides dominated the extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and soluble microbial products (SMP) at 303 and 293K, instead, proteins was the predominant composition of metabolites at 283K. The correlation coefficient (r(2)) was calculated to identify the relationship between temperature (T), filtration resistance (R) and compositions of EPS and SMP. In biocake, the EPS polysaccharides (EPSc) was the most correlative factor to temperature (T) and filtration resistance (R); in mixed liquor, the ratio of SMP polysaccharides to proteins (SMPc/p) was the most correlative factor. The microbial community structure and the dominant species was the major reason causing the change of EPS and SMP composition.Bioresource Technology 06/2013; 143C:172-177. · 5.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Biofouling in membrane bioreactors (MBRs) remains a primary challenge for their wider application, despite the growing acceptance of MBRs worldwide. Research studies on membrane fouling are extensive in the literature, with more than 200 publications on MBR fouling in the last 3 years; yet, improvements in practice on biofouling control and management have been remarkably slow. Commonly applied cleaning methods are only partially effective and membrane replacement often becomes frequent. The reason for the slow advancement in successful control of biofouling is largely attributed to the complex interactions of involved biological compounds and the lack of representative-for-practice experimental approaches to evaluate potential effective control strategies. Biofouling is driven by microorganisms and their associated extra-cellular polymeric substances (EPS) and microbial products. Microorganisms and their products convene together to form matrices that are commonly treated as a black box in conventional control approaches. Biological-based antifouling strategies seem to be a promising constituent of an effective integrated control approach since they target the essence of biofouling problems. However, biological-based strategies are in their developmental phase and several questions should be addressed to set a roadmap for translating existing and new information into sustainable and effective control techniques. This paper investigates membrane biofouling in MBRs from the microbiological perspective to evaluate the potential of biological-based strategies in offering viable control alternatives. Limitations of available control methods highlight the importance of an integrated anti-fouling approach including biological strategies. Successful development of these strategies requires detailed characterization of microorganisms and EPS through the proper selection of analytical tools and assembly of results. Existing microbiological/EPS studies reveal a number of implications as well as knowledge gaps, warranting future targeted research. Systematic and representative microbiological studies, complementary utilization of molecular and biofilm characterization tools, standardized experimental methods and validation of successful biological-based antifouling strategies for MBR applications are needed. Specifically, in addition, linking these studies to relevant operational conditions in MBRs is an essential step to ultimately develop a better understanding and more effective and directed control strategy for biofouling.Water Research 06/2013; · 4.66 Impact Factor