Coupling anaerobic fluidized membrane bioreactors with microbial electrolysis cells towards improved wastewater reuse and energy recovery
Kik et al_Manuscript_KAUST Repository_JECE-D-21-01542.pdf
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AuthorsEl Kik, Olga
KAUST DepartmentWater Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Environmental Science and Engineering Program
KAUST Grant NumberFCC/1/1971-05-01
Embargo End Date2023-07-01
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/670241
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AbstractAnaerobic Membrane Bioreactors (AnMBRs) combine the advantages of anaerobic processes and MBR technology to improve effluent quality and energy recovery. However, these systems are associated with operational challenges such as membrane fouling and loss of dissolved methane that increases operation and energy expenses. In this study, a new configuration was developed combining AnMBRs with Microbial Electrolysis Cells (MECs). The effectiveness of the coupled AnFMBR-MEC system was tested by monitoring several indicators during the treatment of synthetic wastewater. The new configuration exhibited a 25-day shorter startup period, a 56% enhanced average methane yield, and a reduced membrane fouling with a maximum transmembrane pressure value nearly 6.5 folds lower than that exhibited by the AnFMBR alone. AnFMBR-MEC had an average CE of 40% and both reactors achieved around 90% COD removal. Similar bacterial communities existed in both reactors but with different relative abundance and localization. In the AnFMBR-MEC, the Direct Interspecies Electron Transfer was the likely dominant route for acetate consumption due to the abundance of Geobacter and Methanosarcina on the granular activated carbon and in suspension. The new system offers a promising technology with less fouling and improved resource recovery from wastewater due to the presence of different environmental niches (GAC, anode, cathode) for microbial colonization and growth, which resulted in the reduction of biomass in suspension and the proliferation of electroactive bacteria and methanogens as biofilms.
CitationEl Kik, O., Issa, L., Katuri, K. P., Saikaly, P. E., Alameddine, I., El-Fadel, M., & Saikaly, P. E. (2021). Coupling anaerobic fluidized membrane bioreactors with microbial electrolysis cells towards improved wastewater reuse and energy recovery. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 105974. doi:10.1016/j.jece.2021.105974
SponsorsSpecial thanks are extended to Dar Al-Handasah (Shair & Partners) endowment for its support to the graduate programs in Engineering at the American University of Beirut. Also, this work was supported by Center Competitive Funding Program (FCC/1/1971-05-01) from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to P.E.S.