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Filterability of membrane bioreactor (MBR) sludge: impacts of polyelectrolytes and mixing with conventional activated sludge

Nevzat O Yigit, Gokhan Civelekoglu, Ozer Cinar, Mehmet Kitis
Water Science and Technology: a Journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research 2010, 61 (3): 659-69
20150702
The main objective of this work was to investigate the filterability of MBR sludge and its mixture with conventional activated sludge (CAS). In addition, the impacts of type and dose of various polyelectrolytes, filter type and sludge properties on the filterability of both MBR and Mixed sludges were determined. Specific cake resistance (SCR) measured by the Buchner funnel filtration test apparatus and the solids content of the resulting sludge cake were used to assess the dewaterability of tested sludges. The type of filter paper used in Buchner tests affected the results of filterability for MBR, CAS and Mixed sludges. SCR values and optimum polyelectrolyte doses increased with increasing MLSS concentrations in the MBR, which suggested that increase in MLSS concentrations accompanied by increases in EPS and SMP concentrations and a shift toward smaller particles caused poorer dewaterability of the MBR sludge. The significant differences observed among the filterability of CAS and MBR sludges suggested that MLSS alone is not a good predictor of sludge dewaterability. Combining CAS and MBR sludges at different proportions generally improved their dewaterability. Combining MBR sludges having typically high MLSS and EPS concentrations with CAS having much lower MLSS concentrations may be an option for full-scale treatment plants experiencing sludge dewaterability problems. Better filterability and higher cake dry solids were achieved with cationic polyelectrolytes compared to anionic and non-ionic ones for all sludge types tested.

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