Quorum quenching (QQ) has recently been acknowledged to be a sustainable antifouling strategy and has been investigated widely using lab-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR) systems. This study attempted to bring this QQ-MBR closer to potential practical application. Two types of pilot-scale QQ-MBRs with QQ bacteria entrapping beads (QQ-beads) were installed and run at a wastewater treatment plant, feeding real municipal wastewater to test the systems' effectiveness for membrane fouling control and thus the amount of energy savings, even under harsh environmental conditions. The rate of transmembrane pressure (TMP) build-up was significantly mitigated in QQ-MBR compared to that in a conventional-MBR. Consequently, QQ-MBR can substantially reduce energy consumption by reducing coarse bubble aeration without compromising the effluent water quality. The addition of QQ-beads to a conventional MBR substantially affected the EPS concentrations, as well as microbial floc size in the mixed liquor. Furthermore, the QQ activity and mechanical stability of QQ-beads were well maintained for at least four months, indicating QQ-MBR has good potential for practical applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry