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Bioresour Technol. 2013 Feb;130:239-47. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.12.007. Epub 2012 Dec 12.

Fouling characteristics of a membrane bioreactor and nanofiltration hybrid system for municipal wastewater reclamation.

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School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), 261 Cheomdan-gwagiro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 500-712, Republic of Korea.


A laboratory-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR) and nanofiltration (NF) hybrid system has been built to investigate effects of changes in characteristics of effluent organic matter by the MBR on fouling characteristics of the NF membranes. Large amounts of polysaccharide-like substances with small molecular weight and strong fluorescence intensity at the excitation wavelength of 230nm and the emission wavelength of 420nm were produced by microbial growth in the MBR. These substances had a great influence on fouling formation of the NF membranes. Fouling characteristics of the MBR were governed by both hydrophobic and hydrophilic fractions while hydrophilic fractions were found as major constituents of the desorbed NF membrane foulants. Flux decline rates of the NF membranes were closely associated with differences in their fouling layer compositions, meaning that performances of the NF membranes (i.e., flux decline) could be influenced by the membrane characteristics (i.e., surface zeta potential and contact angle).

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