Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 16

Search results for: micro-filtration

16 Edible Oil Industry Wastewater Treatment by Microfiltration with Ceramic Membrane

Authors: Zita Šereš, Dragana Šoronja Simović, Ljubica Dokić, Lidietta Giorno, Biljana Pajin, Cecilia Hodur, Nikola Maravić


Membrane technology is convenient for separation of suspended solids, colloids and high molecular weight materials that are present. The idea is that the waste stream from edible oil industry, after the separation of oil by using skimmers is subjected to microfiltration and the obtained permeate can be used again in the production process. The wastewater from edible oil industry was used for the microfiltration. For the microfiltration of this effluent a tubular membrane was used with a pore size of 200 nm at transmembrane pressure in range up to 3 bar and in range of flow rate up to 300 L/h. Box–Behnken design was selected for the experimental work and the responses considered were permeate flux and chemical oxygen demand (COD) reduction. The reduction of the permeate COD was in the range 40-60% according to the feed. The highest permeate flux achieved during the process of microfiltration was 160 L/m2h.

Keywords: ceramic membrane, edible oil, microfiltration, wastewater

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15 Using Nanofiber-Like Attapulgite Microfiltration Membranes to Treat Oily Wastewater

Authors: Shouyong Zhou, Meisheng Li, Yijiang Zhao


The environmentally acceptable disposal of oily wastewater is a current challenge to many industries. The membrane separation technologies, which is no phase change, without pharmaceutical dosing, reprocessing costs low, less energy consumption, etc., have been widely applied in oily wastewater treatment. In our lab, a kind of low cost ceramic microfiltration membranes with a separation layer of attapulgite nanofibers (attapulgite nanofiber-like microfiltration membranes) has been prepared and applied in the purification of cellulase fermentation broth and TiO2 nanoparticles system successfully. In this paper, this new attapulgite nanofiber-like microfiltration membrane was selected to try to separate water from oily wastewater. The oil-in water emulsion was obtained from mixing 1 g/L engine oil, 0.5 g/L Tween-80, 0.5 g/L Span-80 and distilled water at mild speed in blender for 2 min. The particle size distribution of the oil-in-water emulsion was controlled. The maximum steady flux and COD rejection for a 0.2 um attapulgite nanofiber-like microfiltration membrane can reach about 450 L. m-2. h-1 and 98% at 0.2 MPa. The results obtained in this work indicated that the attapulgite microfiltration membrane may represent a feasible pretreatment for oily wastewater.

Keywords: attapulgite, microfiltration membrane, oily wastewater, cross-flow filtration

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14 Microfiltration of the Sugar Refinery Wastewater Using Ceramic Membrane with Kenics Static Mixer

Authors: Zita Šereš, Ljubica Dokić, Nikola Maravić, Dragana Šoronja Simović, Cecilia Hodur, Ivana Nikolić, Biljana Pajin


New environmental regulations and the increasing market preference for companies that respect the ecosystem had encouraged the industry to look after new treatments for its effluents. The sugar industry, one of the largest emitter of environmental pollutants, follows this tendency. Membrane technology is convenient for separation of suspended solids, colloids and high molecular weight materials that are present in a wastewater from the sugar industry. The idea is to microfilter the wastewater, where the permeate passes through the membrane and becomes available for recycle and re-use in the sugar manufacturing process. For microfiltration of this effluent a tubular ceramic membrane was used with a pore size of 200 nm at transmembrane pressure in range of 1 – 3 bars and in range of flow rate of 50 – 150 l/h. Kenics static mixer was used for permeate flux enhancement. Turbidity and suspended solids were removed and the permeate flux was continuously monitored during the microfiltration process. The flux achieved after 90 minutes of microfiltration was in a range of 50-70 L/m2h. The obtained turbidity decrease was in the range of 50-99% and the total amount of suspended solids was removed.

Keywords: ceramic membrane, microfiltration, permeate flux, sugar industry, wastewater

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13 The Effect of Ultrasound on Permeation Flux and Changes in Blocking Mechanisms during Dead-End Microfiltration of Carrot Juice

Authors: A. Hemmati, H. Mirsaeedghazi, M. Aboonajmi


Carrot juice is one of the most nutritious foods that are consumed around the world. Large particles in carrot juice causing turbid appearance make some problems in the concentration process such as off-flavor due to the large particles burnt on the walls of evaporators. Microfiltration (MF) is a pressure driven membrane separation method that can clarify fruit juices without enzymatic treatment. Fouling is the main problem in the membrane process causing reduction of permeate flux. Ultrasound as a cleaning technique was applied at 20 kHz to reduce fouling in membrane clarification of carrot juice using dead-end MF system with polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane. Results showed that application of ultrasound waves reduce diphasic characteristic of carrot juice and permeate flux increased. Evaluation of different membrane fouling mechanisms showed that application of ultrasound waves changed creation time of each fouling mechanism. Also, its behavior was changed with varying transmembrane pressure.

Keywords: Carrot juice, Dead end, Microfiltration, Ultrasound

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12 Effect of Microfiltration on the Composition and Ripening of Iranian Fetta Cheese

Authors: M. Dezyani, R. Ezzati belvirdi, M. Shakerian, H. Mirzaei


The effect of Microfiltration (MF) on proteolysis, hardness, and flavor of Feta cheese during 6 mo of aging was determined. Raw skim milk was microfiltered two-fold in two cheese making trials. In trial 1, four vats of cheese were made in 1 d using unconcentrated milk (1X), 1.26X, 1.51X, and 1.82X Concentration Factors (CF). Casein-(CN)-to-fat ratio was constant among treatments. Proteolysis during cheese aging decreased with increasing CF due to either limitation of substrate availability for chymosin due to low moisture in the nonfat substance (MNFS), inhibition of chymosin activity by high molecular weight milk serum proteins, such as α2-macroglobulin, retained in the cheese or low residual chymosin in the cheese. Hardness of fresh cheese increased, and cheese flavor intensity decreased with increasing CF. In trial 2, the 1X and 1.8X CF were compared directly. Changes made in the cheese making procedure for the 1.8X CF (more chymosin and less cooking) increased the MNFS and made proteolysis during aging more comparable for the 1X and 1.8X cheeses. The significant difference in cheese hardness due to CF in trial 1 was eliminated in trial 2. In a triangle test, panelists could not differentiate between the 1X and 1.8X cheeses. Therefore, increasing chymosin and making the composition of the two cheeses more similar allowed production of aged Fetta cheese from milk concentrated up to 1.8X by MF that was not perceived as different from aged feta cheese produced without MF.

Keywords: feta cheese, microfiltration, concentration factor, proteolysis

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11 Reduction of Specific Energy Consumption in Microfiltration of Bacillus velezensis Broth by Air Sparging and Turbulence Promoter

Authors: Jovana Grahovac, Ivana Pajcin, Natasa Lukic, Jelena Dodic, Aleksandar Jokic


To obtain purified biomass to be used in the plant pathogen biocontrol or as soil biofertilizer, it is necessary to eliminate residual broth components at the end of the fermentation process. The main drawback of membrane separation techniques is permeate flux decline due to the membrane fouling. Fouling mitigation measures increase the pressure drop along membrane channel due to the increased resistance to flow of the feed suspension, thus increasing the hydraulic power drop. At the same time, these measures lead to an increase in the permeate flux due to the reduced resistance of the filtration cake on the membrane surface. Because of these opposing effects, the energy efficiency of fouling mitigation measures is limited, and the justification of its application is provided by information on a reducing specific energy consumption compared to a case without any measures employed. In this study, the influence of static mixer (Kenics) and air-sparging (two-phase flow) on reduction of specific energy consumption (ER) was investigated. Cultivation Bacillus velezensis was carried out in the 3-L bioreactor (Biostat® Aplus) containing 2 L working volume with two parallel Rushton turbines and without internal baffles. Cultivation was carried out at 28 °C on at 150 rpm with an aeration rate of 0.75 vvm during 96 h. The experiments were carried out in a conventional cross-flow microfiltration unit. During experiments, permeate and retentate were recycled back to the broth vessel to simulate continuous process. The single channel ceramic membrane (TAMI Deutschland) used had a nominal pore size 200 nm with the length of 250 mm and an inner/external diameter of 6/10 mm. The useful membrane channel surface was 4.33×10⁻³ m². Air sparging was brought by the pressurized air connected by a three-way valve to the feed tube by a simple T-connector without diffusor. The different approaches to flux improvement are compared in terms of energy consumption. Reduction of specific energy consumption compared to microfiltration without fouling mitigation is around 49% and 63%, for use of two-phase flow and a static mixer, respectively. In the case of a combination of these two fouling mitigation methods, ER is 60%, i.e., slightly lower compared to the use of turbulence promoter alone. The reason for this result can be found in the fact that flux increase is more affected by the presence of a Kenics static mixer while sparging results in an increase of energy used during microfiltration. By comparing combined method with turbulence promoter flux enhancement method ER is negative (-7%) which can be explained by increased power consumption for air flow with moderate contribution to the flux increase. Another confirmation for this fact can be found by comparing energy consumption values for combined method with energy consumption in the case of two-phase flow. In this instance energy reduction (ER) is 22% that demonstrates that turbulence promoter is more efficient compared to two phase flow. Antimicrobial activity of Bacillus velezensis biomass against phytopathogenic isolates Xanthomonas campestris was preserved under different fouling reduction methods.

Keywords: Bacillus velezensis, microfiltration, static mixer, two-phase flow

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10 Performance of an Anaerobic Osmotic Membrane Bioreactor Hybrid System for Wastewater Treatment and Phosphorus Recovery

Authors: Ming-Yeh Lu, Shiao-Shing Chen, Saikat Sinha Ray, Hung-Te Hsu


The submerged anaerobic osmotic membrane bioreactor (AnOMBR) integrated with periodic microfiltration (MF) extraction for simultaneous phosphorus and clean water recovery from wastewater was evaluated. A laboratory-scale AnOMBR used cellulose triacetate (CTA) membranes with effective membrane area of 130 cm² was fully submerged into a 5 L bioreactor at 30-35 ℃. Active layer was orientated to feed stream for minimizing membrane fouling and scaling. Additionally, a peristaltic pump was used to circulate magnesium sulphate (MgSO₄) solution applied as draw solution (DS). Microfiltration membrane periodically extracted about 1 L solution when the TDS reaches to 5 g/L to recover phosphorus and simultaneously control the salt accumulation in the bioreactor. During experiment progress, the average water flux was around 1.6 LMH. The AnOMBR process showed greater than 95% removal of soluble chemical oxygen demand (sCOD), nearly 100% of total phosphorous whereas only partial of ammonia was removed. On the other hand, the average methane production of 0.22 L/g sCOD was obtained. Subsequently, the overall performance demonstrates that a novel submerged AnOMBR system is potential for simultaneous wastewater treatment and resource recovery from wastewater. Therefore, the new concept of this system can be used to replace for the conventional AnMBR in the future.

Keywords: anaerobic treatment, forward osmosis, phosphorus recovery, membrane bioreactor

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9 Application of a Submerged Anaerobic Osmotic Membrane Bioreactor Hybrid System for High-Strength Wastewater Treatment and Phosphorus Recovery

Authors: Ming-Yeh Lu, Shiao-Shing Chen, Saikat Sinha Ray, Hung-Te Hsu


Recently, anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) has been widely utilized, which combines anaerobic biological treatment process and membrane filtration, that can be present an attractive option for wastewater treatment and water reuse. Conventional AnMBR is having several advantages, such as improving effluent quality, compact space usage, lower sludge yield, without aeration and production of energy. However, the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus in the AnMBR permeate was negligible which become the biggest disadvantage. In recent years, forward osmosis (FO) is an emerging technology that utilizes osmotic pressure as driving force to extract clean water without additional external pressure. The pore size of FO membrane is kindly mentioned the pore size, so nitrogen or phosphorus could effectively improve removal of nitrogen or phosphorus. Anaerobic bioreactor with FO membrane (AnOMBR) can retain the concentrate organic matters and nutrients. However, phosphorus is a non-renewable resource. Due to the high rejection property of FO membrane, the high amount of phosphorus could be recovered from the combination of AnMBR and FO. In this study, development of novel submerged anaerobic osmotic membrane bioreactor integrated with periodic microfiltration (MF) extraction for simultaneous phosphorus and clean water recovery from wastewater was evaluated. A laboratory-scale AnOMBR utilizes cellulose triacetate (CTA) membranes with effective membrane area of 130 cm² was fully submerged into a 5.5 L bioreactor at 30-35℃. Active layer-facing feed stream orientation was utilized, for minimizing fouling and scaling. Additionally, a peristaltic pump was used to circulate draw solution (DS) at a cross flow velocity of 0.7 cm/s. Magnesium sulphate (MgSO₄) solution was used as DS. Microfiltration membrane periodically extracted about 1 L solution when the TDS reaches to 5 g/L to recover phosphorus and simultaneous control the salt accumulation in the bioreactor. During experiment progressed, the average water flux was achieved around 1.6 LMH. The AnOMBR process show greater than 95% removal of soluble chemical oxygen demand (sCOD), nearly 100% of total phosphorous whereas only partial removal of ammonia, and finally average methane production of 0.22 L/g sCOD was obtained. Therefore, AnOMBR system periodically utilizes MF membrane extracted for phosphorus recovery with simultaneous pH adjustment. The overall performance demonstrates that a novel submerged AnOMBR system is having potential for simultaneous wastewater treatment and resource recovery from wastewater, and hence, the new concept of this system can be used to replace for conventional AnMBR in the future.

Keywords: anaerobic treatment, forward osmosis, phosphorus recovery, membrane bioreactor

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8 Process for Production of Added-Value Water–Extract from Liquid Biomass

Authors: Lozano Paul


Coupled Membrane Separation Technology (CMST), including Cross Flow Microfiltration (CFM) and Reverse Osmosis (RO), are used to concentrate microalgae biomass or/and to extract and concentrate water-soluble metabolites produced during micro-algae production cycle, as well as water recycling. Micro-algae biomass was produced using different feeding mixtures of ingredients: pure chemical origin compounds and natural/ecological water-extracted components from available local plants. Micro-algae was grown either in conventional plastic bags (100L/unit) or in small-scale innovative bioreactors (75L). Biomass was concentrated as CFM retentate using a P19-60 ceramic membrane (0.2μm pore size), and water-soluble micro-algae metabolites left in the CFM filtrate were concentrated by RO. Large volumes of water (micro-algae culture media) of were recycled by the CMTS for another biomass production cycle.

Keywords: extraction, membrane process, microalgae, natural compound

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7 Advances in Membrane Technologies for Wastewater Treatment

Authors: Deniz Sahin


This study provides a literature review of the special issue on wastewater treatment technologies, especially membrane technologies. Currently, wastewater is a serious and increasing worldwide problem with an adverse effect on the environment and living organisms. For this reason, many technologies have been developed to treat wastewater before discharging it to water bodies. We have been discussed membrane technologies to remove contaminants from wastewater such as heavy metals, dyes, pesticides, etc., which represent the main pollutants in wastewater. All the properties of these technologies including performance, economics, simplicity, and operability are also compared with other wastewater treatment technologies. The conventional water treatment technologies have the disadvantages of low separation efficiency, high energy consumption, and strict operating temperature. To overcome these difficulties, membrane technologies have been developed and used in wastewater treatment. Membrane technology uses a selectively permeable membrane to remove suspended and dissolved solids from water. This membrane is a very thin film of synthetic organic or inorganic materials, that can allow a very selective separation between a mixture and its components. Examples of membrane technologies include microfiltration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF), reverse osmosis (RO), electrodialysis (ED), gas separation, etc. Most of these technologies have been used extensively for the treatment of heavy metal wastewater. For instance, wastewater that contains Cu²⁺, Cd²⁺, Pb²⁺, Zn²⁺ was treated by ultrafiltration technology. It was shown that complete removal of metal ions could be achieved.

Keywords: industrial pollution, membrane technologies, metal ions, wastewater

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6 Preparation and Characterization of Antifouling Polysulfone Flat Sheet Membrane by Phase Inversion

Authors: Bharti Saini, Sukanta K. Dash


In this work polymeric Nanofiltration (NF) membranes of polysulfone (PSF) (average molecular weight of 22400 Da) were prepared using polyethylene glycol (PEG) (average molecular weight of 200 Da) as an organic additive and ZnCl2 as an inorganic additive. Dimethyl acetamide (DMAc) was used as the solvent, and Deionised water as nonsolvent. The membranes were prepared by phase inversion (immersion precipitation) method. PEG 200 and ZnCl2 in varying concentration are directly added into the casting solution of PSF and DMAc. PEG 200 was used in concentration varying from 0 to 10 % (w/w) in the solution of PSF and DMAc, while ZnCl2 is varied from 0 to 2% (w/w). Membranes were characterized for surface morphology, water uptake, porosity and contact angle, with respect to concentration of PEG and ZnCl2. It was observed that with the increase in additive PEG 200, the porosity and hence, hydrophilicity increase. As a result, the number of pores increases as justified by the SEM analysis as well. The study revealed that the synergistic effect of PEG with ZnCl2 is more effective, and the best results were produced by the solution containing 2% PEG 200 and 1% ZnCl2. It was inferred that with the increase in concentration of additives, the pore size goes on decreasing. The membranes obtained gradually move from microfiltration range to nanofiltration range, and this change is primarily brought about by the addition of ZnCl2.

Keywords: membrane, phase inversion method, polysulfone, porous structure

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5 Porous Alumina-Carbon Nanotubes Nanocomposite Membranes Processed via Spark Plasma Sintering for Heavy Metal Removal from Contaminated Water

Authors: H. K. Shahzad, M. A. Hussein, F. Patel, N. Al-Aqeeli, T. Laoui


The purpose of the present study was to use the adsorption mechanism with microfiltration synergistically for efficient heavy metal removal from contaminated water. Alumina (Al2O3) is commonly used for ceramic membranes development while recently carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been considered among the best adsorbent materials for heavy metals. In this work, we combined both of these materials to prepare porous Al2O3-CNTs nanocomposite membranes via Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) technique. Alumina was used as a base matrix while CNTs were added as filler. The SPS process parameters i.e. applied pressure, temperature, heating rate, and holding time were varied to obtain the best combination of porosity (64%, measured according to ASTM c373-14a) and strength (3.2 MPa, measured by diametrical compression test) of the developed membranes. The prepared membranes were characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission secondary electron microscopy (FE-SEM), contact angle and porosity measurements. The results showed that properties of the synthesized membranes were highly influenced by the SPS process parameters. FE-SEM images revealed that CNTs were reasonably dispersed in the alumina matrix. The porous membranes were evaluated for their water flux transport as well as their capacity to adsorb heavy metals ions. Selected membranes were able to remove about 97% cadmium from contaminated water. Further work is underway to enhance the removal efficiency of the developed membranes as well as to remove other heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury.

Keywords: heavy metal removal, inorganic membrane, nanocomposite, spark plasma sintering

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4 Organic Rejection and Membrane Fouling with Inorganic Alumina Membrane for Industrial Wastewater Treatment

Authors: Rizwan Ahmad, Soomin Chang, Daeun Kwon, Jeonghwan Kim


Interests in an inorganic membrane are growing rapidly for industrial wastewater treatment due to its excellent chemical and thermal stability over polymeric membrane. Nevertheless, understanding of the membrane rejection and fouling rate caused by the deposit of contaminants on membrane surface and within membrane pores through inorganic porous membranes still requires much attention. Microfiltration alumina membranes were developed and applied for the industrial wastewater treatment to investigate rejection efficiency of organic contaminant and membrane fouling at various operational conditions. In this study, organic rejection and membrane fouling were investigated by using the alumina flat-tubular membrane developed for the treatment of industrial wastewaters. The flat-tubular alumina membranes were immersed in a fluidized membrane reactor added with granular activated carbon (GAC) particles. Fluidization was driven by recirculating a bulk industrial wastewater along membrane surface through the reactor. In the absence of GAC particles, for hazardous anionic dye contaminants, functional group characterized by the organic contaminant was found as one of the main factors affecting both membrane rejection and fouling rate. More fouling on the membrane surface led to the existence of dipolar characterizations and this was more pronounced at lower solution pH, thereby improving membrane rejection accordingly. Similar result was observed with a real metal-plating wastewater. Strong correlation was found that higher fouling rate resulted in higher organic rejection efficiency. Hydrophilicity exhibited by alumina membrane improved the organic rejection efficiency of the membrane due to the formation of hydrophilic fouling layer deposited on it. In addition, less surface roughness of alumina membrane resulted in less fouling rate. Regardless of the operational conditions applied in this study, fluidizing the GAC particles along the surface of alumina membrane was very effective to enhance organic removal efficiency higher than 95% and provide an excellent tool to reduce membrane fouling. Less than 0.1 bar as suction pressure was maintained with the alumina membrane at 25 L/m²hr of permeate set-point flux during the whole operational periods without performing any backwashing and chemical enhanced cleaning for the membrane.

Keywords: alumina membrane, fluidized membrane reactor, industrial wastewater, membrane fouling, rejection

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3 Nanofiltration Membranes with Deposyted Polyelectrolytes: Caracterisation and Antifouling Potential

Authors: Viktor Kochkodan


The main problem arising upon water treatment and desalination using pressure driven membrane processes such as microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis is membrane fouling that seriously hampers the application of the membrane technologies. One of the main approaches to mitigate membrane fouling is to minimize adhesion interactions between a foulant and a membrane and the surface coating of the membranes with polyelectrolytes seems to be a simple and flexible technique to improve the membrane fouling resistance. In this study composite polyamide membranes NF-90, NF-270, and BW-30 were modified using electrostatic deposition of polyelectrolyte multilayers made from various polycationic and polyanionic polymers of different molecular weights. Different anionic polyelectrolytes such as: poly(sodium 4-styrene sulfonate), poly(vinyl sulfonic acid, sodium salt), poly(4-styrene sulfonic acid-co-maleic acid) sodium salt, poly(acrylic acid) sodium salt (PA) and cationic polyelectrolytes such as poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride), poly(ethylenimine) and poly(hexamethylene biguanide were used for membrane modification. An effect of deposition time and a number of polyelectrolyte layers on the membrane modification has been evaluated. It was found that degree of membrane modification depends on chemical nature and molecular weight of polyelectrolytes used. The surface morphology of the prepared composite membranes was studied using atomic force microscopy. It was shown that the surface membrane roughness decreases significantly as a number of the polyelectrolyte layers on the membrane surface increases. This smoothening of the membrane surface might contribute to the reduction of membrane fouling as lower roughness most often associated with a decrease in surface fouling. Zeta potentials and water contact angles on the membrane surface before and after modification have also been evaluated to provide addition information regarding membrane fouling issues. It was shown that the surface charge of the membranes modified with polyelectrolytes could be switched between positive and negative after coating with a cationic or an anionic polyelectrolyte. On the other hand, the water contact angle was strongly affected when the outermost polyelectrolyte layer was changed. Finally, a distinct difference in the performance of the noncoated membranes and the polyelectrolyte modified membranes was found during treatment of seawater in the non-continuous regime. A possible mechanism of the higher fouling resistance of the modified membranes has been discussed.

Keywords: contact angle, membrane fouling, polyelectrolytes, surface modification

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2 H2 Permeation Properties of a Catalytic Membrane Reactor in Methane Steam Reforming Reaction

Authors: M. Amanipour, J. Towfighi, E. Ganji Babakhani, M. Heidari


Cylindrical alumina microfiltration membrane (GMITM Corporation, inside diameter=9 mm, outside diameter=13 mm, length= 50 mm) with an average pore size of 0.5 micrometer and porosity of about 0.35 was used as the support for membrane reactor. This support was soaked in boehmite sols, and the mean particle size was adjusted in the range of 50 to 500 nm by carefully controlling hydrolysis time, and calcined at 650 °C for two hours. This process was repeated with different boehmite solutions in order to achieve an intermediate layer with an average pore size of about 50 nm. The resulting substrate was then coated with a thin and dense layer of silica by counter current chemical vapour deposition (CVD) method. A boehmite sol with 10 wt.% of nickel which was prepared by a standard procedure was used to make the catalytic layer. BET, SEM, and XRD analysis were used to characterize this layer. The catalytic membrane reactor was placed in an experimental setup to evaluate the permeation and hydrogen separation performance for a steam reforming reaction. The setup consisted of a tubular module in which the membrane was fixed, and the reforming reaction occurred at the inner side of the membrane. Methane stream, diluted with nitrogen, and deionized water with a steam to carbon (S/C) ratio of 3.0 entered the reactor after the reactor was heated up to 500 °C with a specified rate of 2 °C/ min and the catalytic layer was reduced at presence of hydrogen for 2.5 hours. Nitrogen flow was used as sweep gas through the outer side of the reactor. Any liquid produced was trapped and separated at reactor exit by a cold trap, and the produced gases were analyzed by an on-line gas chromatograph (Agilent 7890A) to measure total CH4 conversion and H2 permeation. BET analysis indicated uniform size distribution for catalyst with average pore size of 280 nm and average surface area of 275 m2.g-1. Single-component permeation tests were carried out for hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide at temperature range of 500-800 °C, and the results showed almost the same permeance and hydrogen selectivity values for hydrogen as the composite membrane without catalytic layer. Performance of the catalytic membrane was evaluated by applying membranes as a membrane reactor for methane steam reforming reaction at gas hourly space velocity (GHSV) of 10,000 h−1 and 2 bar. CH4 conversion increased from 50% to 85% with increasing reaction temperature from 600 °C to 750 °C, which is sufficiently above equilibrium curve at reaction conditions, but slightly lower than membrane reactor with packed nickel catalytic bed because of its higher surface area compared to the catalytic layer.

Keywords: catalytic membrane, hydrogen, methane steam reforming, permeance

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1 Possibility of Membrane Filtration to Treatment of Effluent from Digestate

Authors: Marcin Debowski, Marcin Zielinski, Magdalena Zielinska, Paulina Rusanowska


The problem with digestate management is one of the most important factors influencing on the development and operation of biogas plant. Turbidity and bacterial contamination negatively affect the growth of algae, which can limit the use of the effluent in the production of algae biomass on a large scale. These problems can be overcome by cultivating of algae species resistant to environmental factors, such as Chlorella sp., Scenedesmus sp., or reducing load of organic compounds to prevent bacterial contamination. The effluent requires dilution and/or purification. One of the methods of effluent treatment is the use of a membrane technology such as microfiltration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO), depending on the membrane pore size and the cut off point. Membranes are a physical barrier to solids and particles larger than the size of the pores. MF membranes have the largest pores and are used to remove turbidity, suspensions, bacteria and some viruses. UF membranes remove also color, odor and organic compounds with high molecular weight. In treatment of wastewater or other waste streams, MF and UF can provide a sufficient degree of purification. NF membranes are used to remove natural organic matter from waters, water disinfection products and sulfates. RO membranes are applied to remove monovalent ions such as Na⁺ or K⁺. The effluent was used in UF for medium to cultivation of two microalgae: Chlorella sp. and Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Growth rates of Chlorella sp. and P. tricornutum were similar: 0.216 d⁻¹ and 0.200 d⁻¹ (Chlorella sp.); 0.128 d⁻¹ and 0.126 d⁻¹ (P. tricornutum), on synthetic medium and permeate from UF, respectively. The final biomass composition was also similar, regardless of the medium. Removal of nitrogen was 92% and 71% by Chlorella sp. and P. tricornutum, respectively. The fermentation effluents after UF and dilution were also used for cultivation of algae Scenedesmus sp. that is resistant to environmental conditions. The authors recommended the development of biorafinery based on the production of algae for the biogas production. There are examples of using a multi-stage membrane system to purify the liquid fraction from digestate. After the initial UF, RO is used to remove ammonium nitrogen and COD. To obtain a permeate with a concentration of ammonium nitrogen allowing to discharge it into the environment, it was necessary to apply three-stage RO. The composition of the permeate after two-stage RO was: COD 50–60 mg/dm³, dry solids 0 mg/dm³, ammonium nitrogen 300–320 mg/dm³, total nitrogen 320–340 mg/dm³, total phosphorus 53 mg/dm³. However compostion of permeate after three-stage RO was: COD < 5 mg/dm³, dry solids 0 mg/dm³, ammonium nitrogen 0 mg/dm³, total nitrogen 3.5 mg/dm³, total phosphorus < 0,05 mg/dm³. Last stage of RO might be replaced by ion exchange process. The negative aspect of membrane filtration systems is the fact that the permeate is about 50% of the introduced volume, the remainder is the retentate. The management of a retentate might involve recirculation to a biogas plant.

Keywords: digestate, membrane filtration, microalgae cultivation, Chlorella sp.

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