A bench scale aerobic submerged membrane bioreactor (ASMBR) was used to treat diluted palm oil mill effluent (POME). For further improving the effluent quality and reduction of bio-fouling, powdered activated carbon (PAC) and zeolite were used as bio-fouling reducers (BFR). We compared the performances of ASMBR without BFR (called BFR0) with ASMBR using BFR, namely 2g/L PAC (BFR1), 4g/L PAC (BFR2) and 2g/L zeolite (BFR3) for a period of about 70days. Each system with BFR showed distinct performances by producing higher effluent quality as compared with BFR0. On average, the systems with and without BFR removed COD by 97.5-98.5% and 95.2%, respectively. The ASMBR with BFR also produced permeate with average residual color between 16 and 26 Pt-Co, as compared to 80 Pt-Co by BFR0. The addition of BFR increased the critical flux from 20LMH (BFR0) to 36, 42 and 30LMH (BFR1, BFR2, and BFR3). Furthermore, the ASMBR systems with BFR formed lower operational trans-membrane pressure (TMP), lowered the concentration of soluble microbial products (SMP) and increased the concentration of EPS.
- Aerobic submerged membrane bioreactor
- Bio-fouling reducer
- Palm oil mill effluent