The effect of the solids and hydraulic retention time on moving bed membrane bioreactor performance
- Authors: Mannina, G.; Capodici, M.; Cosenza, A.; Di Trapani, D.; Ekama, G.
- Publication year: 2018
- Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
The aim of the present paper was to investigate the effect of solids (SRT) and hydraulic (HRT) retention time on Integrated Fixed Film Activated Sludge (IFAS) University of Cape Town (UCT) membrane Bioreactor (MBR). In particular, three different pairs of SRT and HRT values were analysed, namely, Phase I 56 d/30 h, Phase II 31 d/15 h and Phase III 7 d/13 h. The short-term effect of these three SRT/HRT conditions was assessed by analysing several system performance indicators: organic carbon and biological nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) removal, biomass respiratory activity, activated sludge filtration properties and membrane fouling. The results showed that the decrease of SRT/HRT had a positive influence on system performance. Specifically, the IFAS-UCT-MBR showed excellent removal of organic matter - highest value (99%) at the shortest SRT/HRT (7 d/13 h). Also, the increase in organic loading rate resulting from the decrease of SRT and HRT led to improved nitrogen removal due to higher N removal by sludge wasting requiring less N removal (as N2) by denitrification. Complete nitrification of influent ammonia was achieved at all three SRT/HRT phases, guaranteed by the presence of biofilm carriers in the aerobic reactor, which ensured a higher media SRT than suspended biomass SRT. The increase of the organic loading rate and decrease in SRT led also to a higher heterotrophic activity as demonstrated by the respirometric batch tests, which is due to the increasing active biomass fraction of the volatile suspended solids as SRT decreases. The SRT/HRT decrease over the three phases resulted in an overall increase of the Extracellular Polymeric Substance concentration, which caused an increase in membrane fouling.