A lab-scale, gas-lift anaerobic membrane bioreactor (Gl-AnMBR) was developed and evaluated for its ability to treat and recover resources from sewage. Gl-AnMBR is a hybrid treatment technology that combines anaerobic biological process with low-pressure membrane filtration. A synthetic sewage, mimicking household wastewater, was used as feed to the 10L suspended-growth bioreactor, which is coupled to a tubular PVDF ultrafiltration membrane (with biogas as sparge gas) for sludge/water separation. A series of rapid filterability assessments of flocculant anaerobic sludge was performed and a flux of 18L/m2h (LMH) could be obtained under the tested conditions. Under continuous operation (100d), the flux gradually settled to a stable range of 10-15LMH when weekly manual fouling control was applied. When frequent backwash (for 5min every 4h) was applied, an average flux of 50LMH was sustained. Gl-AnMBR showed excellent removal efficiencies of sewage organic matter (up to 98% and 95% in chemical oxygen demand and organic carbon removal, respectively), while producing methane as biogas (4.5L/d), which can be used for membrane scrubbing and energy recovery.
- Anaerobic digestion
- Decentralized wastewater treatment
- Resource recovery
- Synthetic sewage