Bioresource technology

Influence of diatomite addition on membrane fouling and performance in a submerged membrane bioreactor.

PMID 20685114


This paper examined the effect of diatomite addition on membrane fouling and process performance in an anoxic/oxic submerged membrane bioreactor (A/O MBR). Particle size distribution, molecular weight distribution and microbial activity have been investigated to characterize the sludge mixed liquor. Results show that diatomite addition is a reliable and effective approach in terms of both membrane fouling mitigation and pollutants removal improvement. The MBR system with diatomite addition of 50 mg/L enhanced the removal of COD, TN and TP by 0.9%, 6.9% and 31.2%, respectively, as compared to the control MBR (without diatomite addition). The NH(4)-N removal always maintained at a high level of over 98% irrespective of diatomite addition. Due to the hybrid effect of adsorption and co-precipitation on fine colloids and dissolved organic matter (DOM) from the addition of diatomite, a reduction in foulants amount, an increase in microbial floc size and an improvement in sludge settleability have been achieved simultaneously. As a result, the membrane fouling rate was mitigated successfully.