Insights into the minimization of excess sludge production in micro-aerobic reactors coupled with a membrane bioreactor: Characteristics of extracellular polymeric substances

Yu Cheng, Kun Tian, Peng Xie, Xianghao Ren, Ying Li, Yingying Kou, Kangmin Chon, Moon Hyun Hwang, Myung Han Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The production of excess sludge by the activated sludge system of wastewater treatment plants is a problem. In this study, the EPS characteristics on production and degradation were investigated in the real-scale food processing wastewater treatment system (i.e., a micro-aerobic reactor coupled with a membrane bioreactor (MAR-MBR)) with a treatment capacity of 150 t d−1, which could cater for the low production of excess sludge (i.e., 9 t·a−1; 76% moisture content). The total organic carbon concentrations in the different EPS fractions were in the following order: soluble EPS (S-EPS) < loosely bound EPS (LB-EPS) < tightly bound EPS (TB-EPS). Although the components (e.g., protein and humic acid-like substances) of each EPS fraction changed significantly throughout the MAR-MBR process owing to the low production of excess sludge, the degrees of change in S-EPS, LB-EPS, and TB-EPS were significantly different from the corresponding change in their relative molecular weights. Furthermore, the microbial community composition was beneficial for the release and degradation of EPS, and the regulation of gene functions via the MAR-MBR enhanced this process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133434
JournalChemosphere
Volume292
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr

Keywords

  • Excess sludge minimization
  • Extracellular polymeric substances
  • Membrane bioreactor
  • Micro-aerobic reactor
  • Microbial community

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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