Role of initially formed cake layers on limiting membrane fouling in membrane bioreactors
Chong, Tzyy Haur
Fane, Anthony Gordon
Date of Issue2012
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Singapore Membrane Technology Centre
In this study, an interesting phenomenon was observed that when the levels of soluble polysaccharides (SP) and soluble transparent exopolymer particles (sTEP) in the MBR unexpectedly and suddenly increased, the cleaned membranes tended to be more easily fouled compared to the membranes with the initial cake layers formed in a slow TMP increase stage. Foulant analysis indicated great accumulation amounts of SP and sTEP on the cleaned membrane. FT-IR spectra further confirmed that hydroxyl and amide groups in the soluble substances preferred to attach on the cleaned membranes. While, the initially formed cake layers on the membranes played a role to decrease zeta potential of cleaned membranes, which created less interaction with the soluble substances. It suggests that forming loose-structured cake layers on the primary membranes could be thought as an effective membrane fouling control strategy.