Quorum quenching, biological characteristics, and microbial community dynamics as key factors for combating fouling of membrane bioreactors

Syed Salman Ali Shah, Luigi De Simone, Giuseppe Bruno, Hyeona Park, Kibaek Lee, Massimiliano Fabbricino, Irini Angelidaki, Kwang-Ho Choo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Membrane fouling is a major challenge in membrane bioreactors (MBRs) for wastewater treatment. This study investigates the effects of disturbance and solid retention time (SRT) on quorum-quenching (QQ) MBRs relative to antifouling efficacy and microbial community change. The fouling rate increases with the applied disturbance at a short SRT, counteracting the antifouling effect of QQ; however, it decreases with QQ at a long SRT. The microbial community appears to be responsible for such MBR behaviors. Several bacterial species belonging to the biofilm-forming group are dominant after disturbance, resulting in substantive membrane fouling. However, the balance between the bacterial species plays a key role in MBR fouling propensity when stabilized. Koflera flava becomes dominant with QQ, leading to reduced membrane fouling. QQ makes the MBR microbial community more diverse, while lowering its richness. QQ with long SRT would be a favorable operational strategy for effective MBR fouling control.
Original languageEnglish
Article number19
Journalnpj Clean Water
Volume4
Issue number1
Number of pages11
ISSN2059-7037
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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