Combine Effect of Physical and Biological Based Antifouling Strategies in Lab Scale Membrane Bioreactor Treating Synthetic Wastewater
Membrane bioreactors (MBRs) have been evolved into state-of-the-art technology in wastewater treatment and reuse. However, fouling associated with the membranes, still remains a major problem that elevates operating and maintenance costs, thereby hampering the spread of MBRs worldwide. Although interrupting the process of the biofilm formation by the action of interspecies quorum quenching (QQ) has received a significant attention since recent years, but it is limited to the control of biofouling only. Whereas, this study demonstrates the combined effect of quorum quenching mechanism and backwashing (distinguished physical technique) in MBR treating synthetic wastewater to control biofouling and membrane pore blockage simultaneously. Three bench-scale MBRs, (i) conventional MBR (C-MBR) (ii) MBR with backwash (MBR-BW) and (iii) MBR with QQ consortium and backwash (MBR-QQ-BW) were set up and operated continuously. MBR with combine effect of backwashing and quorum quenching exhibited 7 and 3 times longer filtration cycle than C-MBR and MBR-BW. Comparatively less cake layer resistance (Rc) and soluble EPS concentrations were observed in MBR-QQ-BW than other two MBRs. Study reveals the novelty of successful application of combined influence of permeate backflushing technique in pore blockage reduction and QQ as an anti-biofouling strategy in MBR and potential use for full scale applications.
Keywords� Wastewater Treatment, Membrane Bioreactor, Fouling Control.