Publication Details

Luo, W., Hai, F. I., Price, W. E., Guo, W., Ngo, H. H., Yamamoto, K. & Nghiem, L. D. (2016). Phosphorus and water recovery by a novel osmotic membrane bioreactor - reverse osmosis system. Bioresource Technology, 200 297-304.


An osmotic membrane bioreactor-reverse osmosis (OMBR-RO) hybrid system integrated with periodic microfiltration (MF) extraction was evaluated for simultaneous phosphorus and clean water recovery from raw sewage. In this hybrid system, the forward osmosis membrane effectively retained inorganic salts and phosphate in the bioreactor, while the MF membrane periodically bled them out for phosphorus recovery with pH adjustment. The RO process was used for draw solute recovery and clean water production. Results show that phosphorus recuperation from the MF permeate was most effective when the solution pH was adjusted to 10, whereby the recovered precipitate contained 15-20% (wt/wt) of phosphorus. Periodic MF extraction also limited salinity build-up in the bioreactor, resulting in a stable biological performance and an increase in water flux during OMBR operation. Despite the build-up of organic matter and ammonia in the draw solution, OMBR-RO allowed for the recovery of high quality reused water.

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