Development and start up of a gas-lift anaerobic membrane bioreactor (Gl-AnMBR) for conversion of sewage to energy, water and nutrients

Ana Lucia Prieto, Harry Futselaar, Piet N L Lens, Robert Bair, Daniel H. Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-167
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Volume441
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2013

Keywords

  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Decentralized wastewater treatment
  • Resource recovery
  • Synthetic sewage
  • Ultrafiltration

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