In this study, the seasonality of the biofouling behavior of pilot-scale membrane bioreactors (MBRs) run in parallel with vacant sheets and quorum quenching (QQ) sheets using real municipal wastewater was investigated. QQ media delayed fouling, but low temperatures caused severe biofouling. The greater amount of extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) produced in cold weather was responsible for the faster biofouling of a membrane, even with QQ media. There were significant negative relationships between EPS levels and water temperature. Cold weather was detrimental to the degradation of quorum sensing signal molecules by QQ sheets, whose activity was restored with a higher dose of QQ bacteria. The QQ bacteria in the sheets experienced a slight loss in activity during the early stage of the field test, but survived in the pilot-scale MBR fed with real wastewater. There were no significant discrepancies in treatment efficiency among conventional, vacant, and QQ MBRs.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Convergence Technology Program [number 2015001640001] funded by the Korea Ministry of Environment and the Mid-career Research Program [number 2016R1A2B2013776] funded by the Korea Ministry of Science and ICT.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Water Science and Technology