Bacterial community structure and removal performances in IFAS-MBRs: A pilot plant case study

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The paper reports the results of an experimental campaign carried out on a University of Cape Town (UCT) integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS) membrane bioreactor (MBR) pilot plant. The pilot plant was analysed in terms of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and nutrients removal, kinetic/stoichiometric parameters, membrane fouling and sludge dewaterability. Moreover, the cultivable bacterial community structure was also analysed. The pilot plant showed excellent COD removal efficiency throughout experiments, with average value higher than 98%, despite the slight variations of the influent wastewater. The achieved nitrification efficiency was close to 98% for most of the experiments, suggesting that the biofilm in the aerobic compartment might have sustained the complete nitrification of the influent ammonia, even for concentrations higher than 100 mg L-1. The irreversible resistance due to superficial cake deposition was the mechanism that mostly affected the membrane fouling. Moreover, it was noticed an increase of the resistance due pore blocking likely due to the increase of the EPSBound fraction that could derive by biofilm detachment. The bacterial strains isolated from aerobic tank are wastewater bacteria known for exhibiting efficient heterotrophic nitrificationâaerobic denitrification and producing biofilm.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-131
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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