Author(s): Huang J, Wang Z, Zhang J, Zhang X, Ma J,
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Abstract Membrane fouling remains an obstacle to wide-spread applications of membrane bioreactors (MBRs) for wastewater treatment and reclamation. Herein, we report a simple method to prepare a composite conductive microfiltration (MF) membrane by introducing a stainless steel mesh into a polymeric MF membrane and to effectively control its fouling by applying an external electric field. Linear sweep voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy analyses showed that this conductive membrane had very good electrochemical properties. Batch tests demonstrated its anti-fouling ability in filtration of bovine serum albumin, sodium alginate, humic acid and silicon dioxide particles as model foulants. The fouling rate in continuous-flow MBRs treating wastewater was also decreased by about 50\% for this conductive membrane with 2 V/cm electric field compared to the control test during long-term operation. The enhanced electrostatic repulsive force between foulants and membrane, in-situ cleaning by H2O2 generated from oxygen reduction, and decreased production of soluble microbial products and extracellular polymeric substances contributed to fouling mitigation in this MBR. The results of this study shed light on the control strategy of membrane fouling for achieving a sustainable operation of MBRs.
This article was published in Sci Rep
and referenced in Journal of Membrane Science & Technology