The potential roles of granular activated carbon in anaerobic fluidized membrane bioreactors: effect on membrane fouling and membrane integrity

Bing Wu, Philip Chuen Yung Wong, Anthony G. Fane*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined the behavior of granular activated carbon (GAC) in a hybrid GAC-microfiltration process, which was used to simulate an anaerobic fluidized membrane bioreactor. GAC can exhibit two major beneficial roles in reducing membrane fouling, namely, (1) GAC scours the membranes to limit the cake layer formation and facilitate cake layer removal; (2) GAC tends to absorb potential foulants to reduce the interaction of foulants with the membranes. However, several detrimental effects of GAC on membrane performance were also observed. For example, (1) GAC appeared to release micro- and nanoscaled fine carbon particles, which can form potential foulants. (2) GAC abrasion can induce partial membrane integrity loss, which was proven by membrane permeability increase and microscopic autopsy. Interestingly, it was found that the GAC size had little influence on the scouring-enhanced filtration performance and scouring-induced membrane damage. The properties of the membrane materials were more important in determining the extent of integrity loss of the membrane after GAC abrasion. A membrane with good elongation properties (e.g. polyvinylidene fluoride) and GAC having a suitable size (i.e. less energy consumption) with good stability (i.e. releasing less fine carbon particles) is recommended for the hybrid fluidized GAC-membrane filtration process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1450-1459
Number of pages10
JournalDesalination and Water Treatment
Volume53
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Balaban Desalination Publications. All rights reserved.

Other keywords

  • Adsorption
  • Membrane integrity
  • Membrane permeability
  • Membrane surface morphology
  • Rejection rate
  • Scouring effect

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