This study investigated the performance of an integrated osmotic and microfiltration membrane bioreactor for real sewage employing baffles in the reactor. To study the biofouling development on forward osmosis membranes optical coherence tomography (OCT) technique was employed. On-line monitoring of biofilm growth on a flat sheet cellulose triacetate forward osmosis (CTA-FO) membrane was conducted for 21 days. Further, the process performance was evaluated in terms of water flux, organic and nutrient removal, microbial activity in terms of soluble microbial products (SMP) and extracellular polymeric substance (EPS), and floc size. The measured biofouling layer thickness was in the order sodium chloride (NaCl) > ammonium sulfate (SOA) > potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KH2PO4). Very high organic removal (96.9±0.8 %) and reasonably good nutrient removal efficiency (85.2±1.6 % TN) was achieved. The sludge characteristics and biofouling layer thickness suggest that less EPS and higher floc size were the governing factors for less fouling.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The research reported in this publication was supported by funding from the SEED program of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia. This project is also supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) through the ARC Research Hub for Energy-efficient Separation (IH170100009). The help, assistance and support of the Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC) staff is greatly appreciated. PhD candidate Nirenkumar Pathak would like to acknowledge scholarship support from commonwealth of Australia under Research Training Program (RTP).