Pilot-scale membrane bioreactor for wastewater treatment using innovative encapsulated self-forming dynamic membrane
The use of membrane bioreactors (MBR) is a promising technique for wastewater treatment that manages to respect the restrictive limits imposed by regulations. However, during the filtration process membranes are subject to fouling which requires additional costs for cleaning and replacing the modules. This phenomenon severely limits the widespread of this technology on a real scale. Thanks to many scientific studies, it has been possible to put into practice various fouling mitigation strategies which, at the same time, manage to increase the treatment efficiencies of the system, such as the application of electrochemical processes associated with MBR reactors (e-MBR). The introduction of low-cost self-forming dynamic membranes (SFDM), to replace the conventional ones, has made MBR technology even more promising. However, the large size of the pores limits their application since the effluents obtained at the beginning of the process are not of good quality. In the present study the performance of an innovative patented hybrid reactor, which combines encapsulated self-forming dynamic membranes (ESFDM) with an electro-MBR, was studied. The experiment, conducted at a pilot scale using real wastewater from a full-scale wastewater treatment plant, evaluated the efficiency of pollutant removal and fouling formation as a function of the applied current density.