IWA Publishing

3DEEM spectroscopy analysis to assess the EPS composition in different carriers in HMBR systems

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A hybrid membrane bioreactor (HMBR) with biological band carriers (Reactor A) and an HMBR with suspended honeycomb carriers (Reactor B) were conducted in parallel to investigate the effects of different carriers on extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). Composition and concentration of EPS were examined by three-dimensional excitation-emission matrix (3DEEM) fluorescence spectra and parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC). 3DEEM spectra demonstrated that the main organic substances of the EPS in two reactors were protein-like, humic acid-like and fulvic acid-like substances. The fluorescence intensity (FI) indicated that the protein-like composition was dominant in EPS, and its intensity in reactor B was stronger than that in A (392.94 > 250.25). Results of the FI identified from the 3DEEM by PARAFAC showed that the EPS in two reactors included two humic acid-like compositions C1 (230, 320/406 nm), C2 (250, 360/440 nm) and one protein-like C4 (230, 280/340 nm), while C3 was fulvic acid-like (220/429 nm) and protein-like (230/357 nm) in reactor A and B, respectively. The proportion and FI of protein-like substances in reactor B were higher than that in A. Consequently, it was concluded that reactor A could control the membrane fouling effectively, compared with reactor B.

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