Membrane Bioreactors for Wastewater Recycling
Over the past century, human activity has dramatically changed global nutrient cycles, resulting in detrimental effects on human health and the Earth’s system dynamics. In particular, eutrophication has resulted from the high nitrogen flux to coastal marine systems from both natural and anthropogenic sources. In N-sensitive estuaries, wastewater treatment plants are required to implement more advanced treatment methods in order to meet increasingly stringent effluent guidelines for total N. As a means of complying with current and anticipated water quality regulations, membrane technologies have been widely adopted around the world. In particular, membrane bioreactors (MBRs) have been increasingly and widely used for wastewater treatments in the last two decades due to their unique advantages such as good effluent quality and compact structure.
We developed a novel vertical MBR (VMBR), which has been operated to reduce the problems on nutrient removal from wastewater and the volume of produced sludge. Firstly, operating parameters for the VMBR were selected and evaluated in a bench-scale reactor. Secondly, a pilot-scale VMBR treating municipal wastewater has been fabricated and operated under the optimum condition with various feed water temperatures. Finally, the VMBR has been fully commercialized and the quality of effluent was evaluated for recycling purposes.
Membrane Filtration for Water Treatment
As a means of complying with current and anticipated water quality regulations, membrane technologies have been widely adopted in the world. In particular, low-pressure membrane techniques such as microfiltration (MF) and ultrafiltration (UF) have attracted a considerable amount of attention for removal of particulates by size exclusion, and usually produce a filtrate free of turbidity and bacteria from river, lake, and underground waters. In our study, we test filtration performance and fouling behaviors of polymeric and inorganic MF/UF membranes for water treatment.
Environmental Implications and Applications of Engineered Nanomaterials
Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) have been proposed as a basis for developing new technologies for photocatalytic oxidation and disinfection, improved membrane processes, adsorbents, and biofilm-resistant surfaces. This study details recent progress towards the development of these proposed applications. We explore the use of ENMs for a range of new technologies including, degradation of a probe organic compound by in situ generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), new strategies for microbial disinfection, and the inhibition of biofilm development on membrane surfaces.