Microbial behavior and characteristics of biomass during starvation and their influence on ultrafiltration of activated sludge

W. Lee, Y. Son, Y. Ahn, H. Kim, S. Kim, S. Kang, C. Lee

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Biological and physico-chemical properties of biomass under different growth phases are essential to characterize membrane fouling in membrane bioreactors (MBRs). This study assessed microbial behavior and characteristics under stationary and death phases as starvation progressed and their influences on membrane fouling during ultrafiltration of biomass in MBRs. As starvation progressed, samples were periodically drawn to be measured for biological and physico-chemical properties of the biomass, and for ultrafiltration (30,000 Daltons) tests. Ultrafiltration experiments exhibited fouling resistances caused by biomass and supernatant increased as starvation progressed, and the death phase of microbial growth exhibited more potential in membrane fouling than the stationary phase. Particulates were more responsible for ultrafiltration membrane fouling in the stationary phase of microbial growth, but soluble materials were more accountable in the death phase of microbial growth. Statistical analysis indicated biomass with lower activity could experience higher fouling potential during ultrafiltration of biomass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7487-7494
Number of pages8
JournalDesalination and Water Treatment
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2012R1A1A1039250). This study was also supported by Korea Small and Medium Business Administration (Grant No. S2092789) and by Industrial Facilities & Infrastructure Research Program (Grant No. 14IFIP-B087385-01) funded by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Korean government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Balaban Desalination Publications. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Pollution


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