EPA Science Inventory

An Innovative Membrane Bioreactor Process For Achieving Sustainable Advanced Wastewater Treatment

Citation:

VENOSA, A. D., P. Campo, T. Hidaka, D. Scott, E. J. KLEINER, AND M. T. Suidan. An Innovative Membrane Bioreactor Process For Achieving Sustainable Advanced Wastewater Treatment. Presented at 2nd International Congress on Sustainability Science and Engineering (ICOSSE 11), Tucson, AZ, January 09 - 13, 2011.

Description:

Chemicals of concern (COCs), such as pharmaceutical chemicals, steroid hormones, and pesticides, have been found to be widely distributed in water and wastewater. Conventionally operated wastewater treatment plants do not provide an effective barrier against the release of these COCs to receiving waters. An alternative to conventional activated sludge reactors for the treatment of wastes containing COCs is the use of membrane bioreactors (MBRs) because the solids retention time (SRT) can be easily manipulated to enable enrichment of slower-growing strains of microorganisms to degrade such compounds. The goal of this research is to determine the efficacy of a gravity-flow Biomass Concentrator Reactor (BCR) for the removal of COCs at trace level concentrations (10 µg/L). The BCR is equipped with a membrane having a pore size ranging from 18 to 28 µm, which presents a significant advantage over conventional MBRs with ultrafiltration membranes requiring vacuum or pressure to effect solids-liquid separation. In the BCR, water permeates by gravity with a head differential of less than 2.5 cm. The BCR performance in removing COCs is being studied under conventional aerobic conditions and as a hybrid system with nitrification, where organic carbon and ammonia are oxidized and, at the same time, nitrate is reduced to dinitrogen in a separate anoxic compartment. Two reactors are operated in parallel and fed with medium-strength municipal wastewater fortified with an estrogen ethinyl estradiol, a progestin progesterone, an androgen testosterone, nonylphenol, triclosan, caffeine, atrazine, and carbamazapine. Both BCRs operating at 6 days SRT have successfully reduced the concentrations of 8 of the 10 COCs by > 90% (mostly by > 95%), and higher removals (up to 99+%) occurred at 15 days SRT. The 2 COCs that were partially reduced were atrazine and carbamazapine. Based on the demonstrated performance of the BCR, we have proposed the hybrid design for treatment of municipal wastewater to levels that allow water reuse. Further improvements would result in wastewater treatment for producing safe drinking water sustainably. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT ROGER B. YEARDLEY, JR., LAND REMEDIATION AND POLLUTION CONTROL DIVISION, 513-569-7548.

Purpose/Objective:

To develop and test a modified biomass concentrated reactor for biological nutrient removal and compare results to other membrane bioreactor systems and to evaluate removal of specific chemicals of concern under different operational conditions.

URLs/Downloads:

An Innovative Membrane Bioreactor Process For Achieving Sustainable Advanced Wastewater Treatment   (PDF,NA pp, 1043 KB,  about PDF)

Abstract   (PDF,NA pp, 93 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/SLIDE)
Start Date: 01/13/2011
Completion Date: 01/13/2011
Record Last Revised: 03/03/2011
Record Created: 01/07/2011
Record Released: 01/07/2011
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 232443

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

LAND REMEDIATION AND POLLUTION CONTROL DIVISION

IMMEDIATE OFFICE