Influences of electroosmosis and electrophoresis on permeate flux and membrane fouling in submerged membrane bioreactors (SMBRs)

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The objective of this study was to investigate the influences of electroosmosis (EO) and electrophoresis (EP) on the permeate flux in submerged membrane bioreactors. When a polymeric membrane is placed in between an anode and a cathode, both EO and EP occur simultaneously, causing enhancement in flux. Results showed that after 150 min of filtration, the permeate fluxes were 60, 115, 175 and 260 L/m2/h at 0, 30, 40 and 50 V, respectively. It was shown that the EO was linearly changing with increasing voltage, reaching up to 54 L/m2/h at 50 V. EP was found to be a significant process in removing soluble microbial products from the membrane surface, resulting in an increase in permeate flux as the filtration progressed. About 20-fold of smaller protein and carbohydrate concentrations were found in the cake layer when the electrical field (EF) was applied. However, the EF application promoted pore fouling, because of the calcium and magnesium scaling.

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