Publication Details

Phan, H. V., Hai, F. I., McDonald, J. A., Khan, S. J., Van De Merwe, J. P., Leusch, F. D. L., Zhang, R., Price, W. E., Broeckmann, A. & Nghiem, L. D. (2015). Impact of hazardous events on the removal of nutrients and trace organic contaminants by an anoxic-aerobic membrane bioreactor receiving real wastewater. Bioresource Technology, 192 192-201.


The impacts of four simulated hazardous events, namely, aeration failure, power loss, and chemical shocks (ammonia or bleach) on the performance of an anoxic-aerobic membrane bioreactor (MBR) receiving real wastewater were investigated. Hazardous events could alter pH and/or oxidation reduction potential of the mixed liquor and inhibit biomass growth, thus affecting the removal of bulk organics, nutrients and trace organic contaminants (TrOC). Chemical shocks generally exerted greater impact on MBR performance than aeration/power failure events, with ammonia shock exerting the greatest impact. Compared to total organic carbon, nutrient removal was more severely affected. Removal of the hydrophilic TrOCs that are resistant and/or occur at high concentrations in wastewater was notably affected. The MBR effectively reduced estrogenicity and toxicity from wastewater, but chemical shocks could temporarily increase the endocrine activity of the effluent. Depending on the chemical shock-dose and the membrane flux, hazardous events can exacerbate membrane fouling.



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