Performance evaluation of a pilot-scale anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) treating ethanol thin stillage


Dereli R. K. , URBAN D. R. , HEFFERNAN B., JORDAN J. A. , EWING J., ROSENBERGER G. T. , ...More

ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY, vol.33, no.13, pp.1511-1516, 2012 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 13
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09593330.2012.665491
  • Title of Journal : ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY
  • Page Numbers: pp.1511-1516

Abstract

The ethanol industry has grown rapidly during the past ten years, mainly due to increasing oil prices. However, efficient and cost-effective solutions for treating thin stillage wastewater have still to be developed. The anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) technology combines classical anaerobic treatment in a completely-stirred tank reactor (CSTR) with membrane separation. The combination of these two technologies can achieve a superior effluent quality and also increase biogas production compared to conventional anaerobic solutions. A pilot-scale AnMBR treating thin stillage achieved very high treatment efficiencies in terms of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total suspended solids (TSS) removal (>98%). An average permeate flux of 4.3 L/m(2).h was achieved at relatively low transmembrane pressure (TMP) values (0.1-0.2 bars) with flat-sheet membranes. Experience gained during the pilot-scale studies provides valuable information for scaling up of AnMBRs treating complex and high-strength wastewaters.