The objective of this work was to analyze organic matter removal, nitrification, biomass growth and membrane fouling in a submerged flat-sheet membrane bioreactor, fed with synthetic wastewater, of similar composition to the effluents generated in a fish meal industry. After biomass acclimatization with saline conditions of 12 gNaCl/L and COD/N ratio of 15 in the bioreactor, results showed that the organic matter removal was higher than 90%, for all organic loading rates (0.8, 1, 1.33 and 2 gCOD/L.d) and nitrogen loading rates (0.053, 0.067, 0.089 and 0.133 gN/L.d) tested during the study. However, nitrification was only carried out with the lowest OLR (0.8 gCOD/L.d) and NLR (0.053 gN/L.d). An excessive concentration of organic matter in the wastewater appears as a limiting factor to this process' operating conditions, where nitrification values of 65% were reached, including nitrogen assimilation to produce biomass. The analysis of membrane fouling showed that the bio-cake formation at the membrane surface is the most impacting mechanism responsible of this phenomenon and it was demonstrated that organic and nitrogen loading rates variations affected membrane fouling rate.
Almendariz Tapia, F. J., López Avilés, G., Heran, M., Lesage, G., & Pérez, S. (2018). Performance of a submerged membrane bioreactor for wastewater mimicking fish meal processing effluent. Membrane Water Treatment, 9(4), 263. . https://doi.org/10.12989/mwt.2018.9.4.263