Operational Performance of Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor Treating Swine Waste
Anaerobic biological treatment has become an attractive alternative for the treatment of wastewater due to the decreased cost and the production of methane, an energy source. Anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AMBRs) have several advantages over conventional anaerobic wastewater treatment systems, which include smaller digester sizes and production of a particle free effluent. The overall objective of this on going research project is to find the range of shear rates that will help to prevent membrane fouling, but not limit microbial activity within the AMBR. A six-liter completely mixed anaerobic digester combined with an external tubular ultrafiltration membrane was operated to evaluate the startup and monitor the performance of an AMBR treating swine waste. The reactor performance was evaluated based on biogas production, volatile fatty acid (VFA) and ammonia concentrations, chemical oxygen demand (COD) in the reactor, and volatile suspended solids. Characterization of the microbial community involved two molecular techniques, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH). Overall, the reactor successfully treated swine waste, had high levels of biogas production, and had limited problems with membrane fouling.
University of California at Irvine
Professor Lutgarde Raskin
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