This study presents the performance of membrane
bioreactor in treating high phosphate wastewater. The laboratory
scale MBR was operated at permeate flux of 25 L/m2.h with a hollow
fiber membrane (polypropylene, approx. pore size 0.01 - 0.2 μm) at
hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 12 hrs. Scanning electron
microscopy (SEM) and energy diffusive X-ray (EDX) analyzer were
used to characterize the membrane foulants. Results showed that the
removal efficiencies of COD, TSS, NH3-N and PO4
3- were 93, 98, 80
and 30% respectively. On average 91% of influent soluble microbial
products (SMP) were eliminated, with the eliminations of
polysaccharides mostly above 80%. The main fouling resistance was
cake resistance. It should be noted that SMP were found in major
portions of mixed liquor that played a relatively significant role in
membrane fouling. SEM and EDX analyses indicated that the
foulants covering the membrane surfaces comprises not only organic
substances but also inorganic elements including Mg, Ca, Al, K and
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