Publication Details

Song, X., McDonald, J., Price, W. E., Khan, S. J., Hai, F. I., Ngo, H. H., Guo, W. & Nghiem, L. D. (2016). Effects of salinity build-up on the performance of an anaerobic membrane bioreactor regarding basic water quality parameters and removal of trace organic contaminants. Bioresource Technology, 216 399-405.


The effects of elevated inorganic salt concentration on anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) treatment regarding basic biological performance and trace organic contaminant (TrOC) removal were investigated. A set of 33 TrOCs were selected to represent pharmaceuticals, steroids, and pesticides in municipal wastewater. Results show potential adverse effects of increase in the bioreactor salinity to 15 g/L (as NaCl) on the performance of AnMBR with respect to chemical oxygen demand removal, biogas production, and the removal of most hydrophilic TrOCs. Furthermore, a decrease in biomass production was observed as salinity in the bioreactor increased. The removal of most hydrophobic TrOCs was high and was not significantly affected by salinity build-up in the bioreactor. The accumulation of a few persistent TrOCs in the sludge phase was observed, but such accumulation did not vary significantly as salinity in the bioreactor increased.

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