Membrane fouling is a major challenge in membrane bioreactors (MBRs) and its effective handling is the key to improve their competitiveness. Tilting panel system offers significant improvements for fouling control but is strictly limited to one-sided panel. In this study, we assess a two-way switch tilting panel system that enables two-sided membranes and project its implications on performance and energy footprint. Results show that tilting a panel improves permeance by up to 20% to reach a plateau flux thanks to better contacts between air bubbles and the membrane surface to scour-off the foulant. A plateau permeance could be achieved at aeration rate of as low as 0.90 l min-1, a condition untenable by vertical panel even at twice of the aeration rate. Switching at short periods (<5min) can maintain the hydraulic performance as in no-switch (static system), enables application of a two-sided switching panel. A comparison of vertical panel under 1.80 l min-1 aeration rate with a switching panel at a half of the rate, switched at 1 min period shows ≈10% higher permeance of the later. Since periodic switching consumes a very low energy (0.55% of the total of 0.276 kWh m-3), with reduction of aeration by 50%, the switching tilted panel offers 41% more energy efficient than a referenced full-scale MBR (0.390 kWh m-3). Overall results are very compelling and highly attractive for significant improvements of MBR technologies.
Biohydrogen as one of the most appealing energy vector for the future represents attractive avenue in alternative energy research. Recently, variety of biohydrogen production pathways has been suggested to improve the key features of the process. Nevertheless, researches are still needed to overcome remaining barriers to practical applications such as low yields and production rates. Considering practicality aspects, this review emphasized on anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) for biological hydrogen production. Recent advances and emerging issues associated with biohydrogen generation in AnMBR technology are critically discussed. Several techniques are highlighted that are aimed at overcoming these barriers. Moreover, environmental and economical potentials along with future research perspectives are addressed to drive biohydrogen technology towards practicality and economical-feasibility.
In this research, sago mill effluent was treated using anaerobic sequencing batch reactor (ASBR). Seven HRT from 10 to 1.5 days were tested to evaluate the methane production from sago mill effluent. The findings revealed the highest methane production rate was found at 1.288 L CH4/L reactor. d under HRT of 2 days The results showed that COD removals decreased from 70% to 47% as HRT was reduced from 10 to 2 days. The HRT 1.5 days was found critical for the studied system, which leads to decreased in methane production, yield and COD removal. Overall, ASBR was capable to treat sago mill effluent in producing methane by means of anaerobic digestion.
Anaerobic digestion is a promising way for resource recovery from waste cooking oil (WCO) due to its high bio-methanation potential. In-situ mild alkaline (pH 8) enhanced two-stage continuous stirred tank reactors (ALK-2-CSTRs) were implemented to explore its efficiency in co-digesting WCO and sewage sludge with stepwise increase of WCO in the co-substrates. Results demonstrate that the ALK-2-CSTRs effectively promoted methane yield from the co-substrates via promoting hydrolysis, long chain fatty acids (LCFAs) degradation and protecting methanogens from exposure to high concentration of LCFAs directly. The maximum methane yield of the ALK-2-CSTRs is 39.2% higher than that of a single stage CSTR system at the optimal feed mixture of 45:55 (WCO:SS [VS]). The thermophilic operation applied to the stage-1 of the ALK-2-CSTRs failed to improve the methane yield when the methanogenic performance was stable; while upon WCO overloaded, the elevated temperature mitigated the deterioration of methanogenesis by stimulating the bioconversion of the toxic LCFAs, especially the unsaturated oleic acid. Microbial community analysis reveals the ALK-2-CSTRs stimulated the growth of lipolytic bacteria and hydrogenotrophic methanogens, which suggests the hydrogenotrophic methanogenic pathway was promoted. Cost evaluation demonstrates the economical superiority of the ALK-2-CSTR over the prevailing strategies developed for enhancing methane yield from the co-substrates.
Shake flasks are still the most relevant experimental tool in the development of viscous fermentation processes. The phase number, which defines the onset of the unfavorable out-of-phase (OP) phenomenon in shake flasks, was previously defined via specific power input measurements. In the OP state, the bulk liquid no longer follows the orbital movement of the imposed centrifugal force, which is for example, detrimental to oxygen transfer. In this study, an optical fluorescence technique was used to measure the three-dimensional liquid distribution in shake flasks. Four new optically derived evaluation criteria for the phase transition between the in-phase and OP condition were established: (a) thickness of the liquid film left on the glass wall by the rotating bulk liquid, (b) relative slope of the leading edge of bulk liquid (LB) lines, (c) trend of the angular position of LB, and (d) very high angular position of the leading edge. In contrast to the previously applied power input measurements, the new optical evaluation criteria describe the phase transition in greater detailed. Instead of Ph = 1.26, a less conservative value of Ph = 0.91 is now suggested for the phase transfer, which implies a broader operating window for shake flask cultivations with higher viscosities.
In the current scenario, alternative energy sources are the need of the hour. Organic wastes having a larger fraction of biodegradable constituents present a sustainable bioenergy source. It has been reported that the calorific value of biogas generated by anaerobic digestion (AD) is 21-25 MJ/m3 with the treatment which makes it an excellent replacement of natural gas and fossil fuels and can reduce more than 80% greenhouse gas emission to the surroundings. However, there are some limitations associated with the AD process for instance ammonia build-up at the first stage reduces the rate of hydrolysis of biomass, whereas, in the last stage it interferes with methane formation. Owing to special physicochemical properties such as high activity, high reactive surface area, and high specificity, tailor-made conductive nanoparticles can improve the performance of the AD process. In the AD process, H2 is used as an electron carrier, referred as mediated interspecies electron transfer (MIET). Due to the diffusion limitation of these electron carriers, the MIET efficiency is relatively low that limits the methanogenesis. Direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET), which enables direct cell-to-cell electron transport between bacteria and methanogen, has been considered an alternative efficient approach to MIET that creates metabolically favorable conditions and results in faster conversion of organic acids and alcohols into methane. This paper discusses in detail the application of conductive nanoparticles to enhance the AD process efficiency. Interaction between microbes in anaerobic conditions for electron transfer with the help of CNPs is discussed. Application of a variety of conductive nanomaterials as an additive is discussed with their potential biogas production and treatment enhancement in the anaerobic digestion process.
Microalgae harvesting using membrane technology is challenging because of its high fouling propensity. As an established fouling mitigation technique, efficacy of air bubbles can be improved by maximizing the impact of shear-rates in scouring foulant. In this study, it is achieved by tilting the membrane panel. We investigate the effect of tilting angle, switching period as well as aeration rate during microalgal broth filtration. Results show that higher tilting angles (up to 20°) improve permeability of up to 2.7 times of the vertical panel. In addition, operating a one-sided panel is better than a two-sided panel, in which the later involved switching mode. One-sided membrane panel only require a half of area, yet its performance is comparable with of a large-scale module. This tilted panel can lead to significant membrane cost reductions and eventually improves the competitiveness of membrane technology for microalgae harvesting application.
Understanding of mass transfer kinetics is important for biosorption of nitrogen compounds from palm oil mill effluent (POME) to gain a mechanistic insight into future biological processes for the treatment of high organic loading wastewater. In this study, the rates of global and sequential mass transfer were determined using the modified mass transfer factor equations for the experiments to remove nitrogen by aerobic granular sludge accumulation in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR). The maximum efficiencies as high as 97% for the experiment run at [kLa]g value of 1421.8 h-1 and 96% for the experiment run at [kLa]g value of 9.6 × 1037 h-1 were verified before and after the addition of Serratia marcescens SA30, respectively. The resistance of mass transfer could be dependent on external mass transfer that controls the transport of nitrogen molecule along the experimental period of 256 days. The increase in [kLa]g value leading to increased performance of the SBR was verified to contribute to the future applications of the SBR because this phenomenon provides new insight into the dynamic response of biological processes to treat POME.
Membrane bioreactor (MBR) is regarded as the state-of-the-art technology in separation processes. Surface modification techniques play a critical role in improving the conventional membrane system which is mostly hydrophobic in nature. The hydrophobic nature of membranes is known to cause fouling, resulting in high maintenance costs and shorter lifespan of MBR. Thus, surface grafting aims to improve the hydrophilicity of bio-based membrane systems. This review describes the major surface grafting techniques currently used in membranes, including photo induced grafting, plasma treatment and plasma induced grafting, radiation induced grafting, thermal induced grafting and ozone induced grafting. The advantages and disadvantages of each method is discussed along with their parametric studies. The potential applications of MBR are very promising, but some integral membrane properties could be a major challenge that hinders its wider reach. The fouling issue could be resolved with the surface grafting techniques to achieve better performance of MBRs.
The CANON process is a promising method for nitrogen removal in wastewaters with low organic carbon content like reject water. This study investigated the effect of important factors for optimization of the CANON process through inhibition of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB). In the acclimation period, complete ammonium removal and 43.3% total N removal were obtained at hydraulic retention time of 12 h, temperature of 30°C ± 0.5°C and DO equal to 7-9 mg/L. The effects of air flow rate (AFR) (representative of DO), SRT and C/N were evaluated. Air flow rate was the most important factor for controlling the process, but the effect of SRT was negligible. When AFR was increased from 100 to 500 mL/min, both ammonium removal efficiency (33-43% to 81-83%) and nitrite accumulation (nitritation, 40 mgN/L to 100-120 mgN/L) were increased, but with increasing AFR to 1000 mL/min only ammonium removal efficiency was increased and because of better condition (high DO) for NOBs, nitritation was decreased. C/N had an effect like AFR of 1000 and only increased ammonium removal efficiency and total N removal. With increasing AFR and C/N, both OUR and AUR were increased, but SVI was decreased.
Oil palm mesocarp fiber (OPMF) and palm frond (PF) were respectively devolatilized by pyrolysis to OPMF-oil and PF-oil bio-oils and biochars, OPMF-char and PF-char in a slow-heating fixed-bed reactor. In particular, the OPMF-oil and PF-oil were produced to a maximum yield of 48wt% and 47wt% bio-oils at 550°C and 600°C, respectively. The high heating values (HHVs) of OPMF-oil and PF-oil were respectively found to be 23MJ/kg and 21MJ/kg, whereas 24.84MJ/kg and 24.15MJ/kg were for the corresponding biochar. The HHVs of the bio-oils and biochars are associated with low O/C ratios to be higher than those of the corresponding biomass. The Fourier transform infrared spectra and peak area ratios highlighted the effect of pyrolysis temperatures on the bio-oil compositions. The bio-oils are pervaded with numerous oxygenated carbonyl and aromatic compounds as suitable feedstocks for renewable fuels and chemicals.
The ideal conditions for anaerobic digestion experiments with biochar addition are challenging to thoroughly study due to different experimental purposes. Therefore, three tree-based machine learning models were developed to depict the intricate connection between biochar properties and anaerobic digestion. For the methane yield and maximum methane production rate, the gradient boosting decision tree produced R2 values of 0.84 and 0.69, respectively. According to feature analysis, digestion time and particle size had a substantial impact on the methane yield and production rate, respectively. When particle sizes were in the range of 0.3-0.5 mm and the specific surface area was approximately 290 m2/g, corresponding to a range of O content (>31%) and biochar addition (>20 g/L), the maximum promotion of methane yield and maximum methane production rate were attained. Therefore, this study presents new insights into the effects of biochar on anaerobic digestion through tree-based machine learning.
In this study, palm oil mill effluent (POME) treated by ultrasonication at optimum conditions (sonication power: 0.88 W/mL, sonication duration: 16.2 min and total solids: 6% w/v) obtained from a previous study was anaerobically digested at different hydraulic retention times (HRTs). The reactor biomass was subjected to metagenomic study to investigate the impact on the anaerobic community dynamics. Experiments were conducted in two 5 L continuously stirred fill-and-draw reactors R1 and R2 operated at 30 ± 2 °C. Reactor R1 serving as control reactor was fed with unsonicated POME with HRT of 15 and 20 days (R1-15 and R1-20), whereas reactor R2 was fed with sonicated POME with the same HRTs (R2-15 and R2-20). The most distinct archaea community shift was observed among Methanosaeta (R1-15: 26.6%, R2-15: 34.4%) and Methanobacterium (R1-15: 7.4%, R2-15: 3.2%). The genus Methanosaeta was identified from all reactors with the highest abundance from the reactors R2. Mean daily biogas production was 6.79 L from R2-15 and 4.5 L from R1-15, with relative methane gas abundance of 85% and 73%, respectively. Knowledge of anaerobic community dynamics allows process optimization for maximum biogas production.
Clostridium sp. strain Ade.TY is potentially a new biohydrogen-producing species isolated from landfill leachate sludge. Here we present the assembly and annotation of its genome, which may provide further insights into its gene interactions for efficient biohydrogen production.
Fluid flow in UASB reactors is usually described by multicompartment models consisting of separate ideally mixed zones, plug flow zones, and stagnant zones linked with bypassing flows and back-mixing flows. A closer look at UASB reactor behavior indicates that this complexity is unnecessary. Our study on the startup and steady-state operation of a UASB reactor shows that its fluid flow can be explained just as well with a simple axial dispersion model. The physical transitions, which occur in different zones of the UASB reactor as the microorganisms acclimate to the wastewater, are adequately described by the model. Further, the number of parameters, which is six in standard UASB reactor models, is reduced to four in the case of the axial dispersion model.
The morphology of Ganoderma lucidum BCCM 31549 mycelium in a repeated-batch fermentation (RBF) was studied for exopolysaccharide (EPS) production. RBF was optimised for time to replace and volume to replace. G. lucidum mycelium showed the ability to self-immobilise and exhibited high stability for repeated use in RBF with engulfed pellets. Furthermore, the ovoid and starburst-like pellet morphology was disposed to EPS production in the shake flask and bioreactor, respectively. Seven RBF could be carried out in 500 mL flasks, and five repeated batches were performed in a 2 L bioreactor. Under RBF conditions, autolysis of pellet core in the shake flask and shaving off of the outer hairy region in the bioreactor were observed at the later stages of RBF (R4 for the shake flask and R6 for the bioreactor). The proposed strategy showed that the morphology of G. lucidum mycelium can withstand extended fermentation cycles.
A membrane sequencing batch reactor (MSBR) treating hypersaline oily wastewater was modeled by artificial neural network (ANN). The MSBR operated at different total dissolved solids (TDSs) (35,000; 50,000; 100,000; 150,000; 200,000; 250,000mg/L), various organic loading rates (OLRs) (0.281, 0.563, 1.124, 2.248, and 3.372kg COD/(m(3)day)) and cyclic time (12, 24, and 48h). A feed-forward neural network trained by batch back propagation algorithm was employed to model the MSBR. A set of 193 operational data from the wastewater treatment with the MSBR was used to train the network. The training, validating and testing procedures for the effluent COD, total organic carbon (TOC) and oil and grease (O&G) concentrations were successful and a good correlation was observed between the measured and predicted values. The results showed that at OLR of 2.44kg COD/(m(3)day), TDS of 78,000mg/L and reaction time (RT) of 40h, the average removal rate of COD was 98%. In these conditions, the average effluent COD concentration was less than 100mg/L and met the discharge limits.
Produced water or oilfield wastewater is the largest volume ofa waste stream associated with oil and gas production. The aim of this study was to investigate the biological pretreatment of synthetic and real produced water in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) to remove hydrocarbon compounds. The SBR was inoculated with isolated tropical halophilic microorganisms capable of degrading crude oil. A total sequence of 24 h (60 min filling phase; 21 h aeration; 60 min settling and 60 min decant phase) was employed and studied. Synthetic produced water was treated with various organic loading rates (OLR) (0.9 kg COD m(-3) d(-1), 1.8 kg COD m(-3) d(-1) and 3.6 kg COD m(-3) d(-1)) and different total dissolved solids (TDS) concentration (35,000 mg L(-1), 100,000 mg L(-1), 150,000 mg L(-1), 200,000 mg L(-1) and 250,000 mg L(-1)). It was found that with an OLR of 0.9 kg COD m(-3) d(-1) and 1.8 kg COD m(-3) d(-1), average oil and grease (O&G) concentrations in the effluent were 7 mg L(-1) and 12 mg L(-1), respectively. At TDS concentration of 35,000 mg L(-1) and at an OLR of 1.8 kg COD m(-3)d(-1), COD and O&G removal efficiencies were more than 90%. However, with increase in salt content to 250,000 mg L(-1), COD and O&G removal efficiencies decreased to 74% and 63%, respectively. The results of biological treatment of real produced water showed that the removal rates of the main pollutants of wastewater, such as COD, TOC and O&G, were above 81%, 83%, and 85%, respectively.
Anaerobic co-digestion has made a greater impact on the biogas production from mixing different type of waste. In this research, sewage sludge (SS) and cow manure (CM), was used as a primary waste along with kitchen waste (KW), yard waste (YW), floral waste (FW) and dairy wastewater (DWW) as co-substrate for anaerobic digestion. Mixtures with a ratio of 1:2 ratio is fed into a single stage up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor. Digestion was carried out in a mesophilic temperature range for 20 days. pH and VFA were measured and ranged from 5 to 7.5 and 3500-500 mg/L, respectively, for all the mixtures throughout the digestion period. Percentage of COD removal efficiency after 20 days was found to be in the range of 76-86%. The maximum biogas production rate was found to be 4500 mL/day. Characterization of the final residue from each of the digesters was carried out by Scanning Electron microscope, Energy dispersive, thermogravimetric, FTIR Spectra, and Atomic microscope. Thermal analysis reveals that spent sludge can be potential waste energy sources.