Application of photosynthetic process could be highly efficient and surpass anaerobic treatment in releasing less greenhouse gas and odor while the biomass produced can be utilized. The combination of photosynthetic process with membrane separation is possibly effective for water reclamation and biomass production. In this study, cultivation of mixed culture photosynthetic bacteria from food processing wastewater was investigated in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) and a membrane bioreactor (MBR) supplied with infrared light. Both photo-bioreactors were operated at a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 10 days. Higher MLSS concentration achieved in the MBR through complete retention of biomass resulted in a slightly improved performance. When the system was operated with MLSS controlled by occasional sludge withdrawal, total biomass production of MBR and SBR photo-bioreactor was almost equal. However, 64.5% of total biomass production was washed out with the effluent in SBR system. Consequently, the higher biomass could be recovered for utilization in MBR.
Keywords: membrane bioreactor, photo-bioreactor, purple non-sulfur bacteria, sequencing batch reactor, single cell protein