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Comparison between two MBR pilot plants treating synthetic shipboard slops: the effect of salinity increase on biological performance, biomass activity and fouling tendency

  • Authors: Cosenza, A.; DI TRAPANI, D.; Mannina, G.; Nicosia, S.; Torregrossa, M.; Viviani, G.
  • Publication year: 2017
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Key words: Hydrocarbons; MBR; Salinity; Slops; Water Science and Technology; Ocean Engineering; Pollution
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The paper reports the main results of an experimental campaign carried out on two bench scale pilot plants for the treatment of synthetic shipboard slops. In particular, two membrane bioreactors (MBRs) with submerged configuration were analyzed. One MBR pilot plant (namely, Line A) was fed with synthetic shipboard slop and was subjected to a gradual increase of salinity. Conversely, the second MBR pilot plant (namely, Line B) was fed with the same synthetic shipboard slop but without salt addition, therefore operating as a “control” unit. Organic carbon, hydrocarbons and ammonium removal, kinetic constants, extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) production and membranes fouling rates have been assessed. The observed results highlighted a stress effect exerted by salinity on the biological performances, with lower removal efficiencies in the Line A compared to Line B. Significant releases of soluble EPS in Line A promoted an increase of the resistance related to particle deposition into membrane pores (pore fouling tendency), likely due to a worsening of the mixed liquor features. Such a condition enhanced the reduction of the “pre-filter” effect of the cake layer.