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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2019, Vol. 13 Issue (1) : 1
Effect of chemical dose on phosphorus removal and membrane fouling control in a UCT-MBR
Guangrong Sun1, Chuanyi Zhang1(), Wei Li2, Limei Yuan1(), Shilong He1, Liping Wang1
1. School of Environment and Spatial Informatics, China University of Mining & Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
2. College of Environmental & Resource Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310000, China
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Phosphorus removal was enhanced effectively by dosing aluminum sulfate and effluent phosphorus concentration was lower than 0.5 mg/L.

Sludge activity was not inhibited but improved slightly with addition of aluminum sulfate.

EPS concentrations both in mixed liquid and on membrane surface were decreased, contributing to the effective mitigation of membrane fouling.

To enhance phosphorus removal and make the effluent meet the strict discharge level of total phosphorus (TP, 0.5 mg/L), flocculant dosing is frequently applied. In this study, the performance of aluminum sulfate dosing in a University of Cape Town Membrane Bioreactor (UCT-MBR) was investigated, in terms of the nutrients removal performance, sludge characteristics and membrane fouling. The results indicated that the addition of aluminum sulfate into the aerobic reactor continuously had significantly enhanced phosphorus removal. Moreover, COD, NH4+-N and TN removal were not affected and effluent all met the first level A criteria of GB18918-2002. In addition, the addition of aluminum sulfate had improved the sludge activity slightly and reduced trans-membrane pressure (TMP) increase rate from 1.13 KPa/d to 0.57 KPa/d effectively. The membrane fouling was alleviated attributed to the increased average particle sizes and the decreased accumulation of the small sludge particles on membrane surface. Furthermore, the decline of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) concentration in mixed sludge liquid decreased its accumulation on membrane surface, resulting in the mitigation of membrane fouling directly.

Keywords University of Cape Town Bioreactor (UCT-MBR)      enhanced nutrients removal      aluminum sulfate      sludge activity      membrane fouling     
Corresponding Author(s): Chuanyi Zhang,Limei Yuan   
Issue Date: 16 October 2018
 Cite this article:   
Guangrong Sun,Chuanyi Zhang,Wei Li, et al. Effect of chemical dose on phosphorus removal and membrane fouling control in a UCT-MBR[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2019, 13(1): 1.
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Guangrong Sun
Chuanyi Zhang
Wei Li
Limei Yuan
Shilong He
Liping Wang
Fig.1  Schematic overview of the UCT-MBR setup: 1. Influent tank; 2. Pump; 3. Anaerobic reactor; 4. Anoxic reactor; 5. Aerobic reactor; 6. Mixer; 7. Air diffuser; 8. Blower; 9. Membrane unit; 10. Chemical dosing tank; 11. Wastewater tank; 12. Vacuum gauge; 13. Recycled pump (r); 14. Recycled pump (R).
Phase 1 2 3 4
Aluminum sulfate dose (mg/L) 0 10 0 50
COD (mg/L) 261.2?274.9 251.7.2?270.5 196.5?217.9 204.8?216.4
NH4+-N (mg/L) 34.4?42.8 36.2?41.3 36.9?39.4 37.2?39.4
TP (mg/L) 4.72?5.22 4.63?5.02 4.88?5.16 4.89?5.05
TN (mg/L) 36.9?43.8 38.6?45.3 37.4?41.6 38.2?42.6
Tab.1  Characteristics of influent wastewater and aluminum sulfate dose in different phases
Fig.2  The concentrations and removal efficiencies in UCT-MBR during the operational period.
Fig.3  Sludge Characteristics: Changes of MLSS, MLVSS and ratio of MLVSS/MLSS in aerobic reactor (a), phosphorus release rate (b), denitrification rate (c) and nitrification rate (d) in different reactors before/after the dose of aluminum sulfate.
Fig.4  Effect of aluminum sulfate dosing on the changes of TMP.
Fig.5  Distribution of sludge particle sizes before (a) and after (b) the dose of aluminum sulfate.
Parameter Anaerobic reactor Anoxic reactor Aerobic reactor
Before dosing Concentration 73.15 8.99 73.67 9.15 71.85 9.30
Total EPS 82.14 82.82 81.15
After dosing Concentration 38.13 10.12 37.33 9.22 35.09 13.42
Total EPS 48.25 46.55 48.50
Tab.2  The content of EPS before and after the addition of aluminum sulfate (mg/gMLSS)
Fig.6  EPS concentration and distribution on membrane surface before and after the dose of aluminum sulfate.
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