The Mediterranean Region is a semi-arid area whose land is facing serious erosion, causing adverse impacts on agriculture. To improve the water availability, researchers have proposed the reclamation and reuse of treated wastewater. In this paper, we report the main findings of 10 years of research on the efficiencies of a conventional activated sludge process and a submerged membrane bioreactor, with particular emphasis on the removal of non-conventional pollutants. The studies showed that the membrane bioreactor produced a virtually solids-free, high-quality permeate: most nutrients, heavy metals, and persistent organic pollutants were removed, and in particular, dioxins, furans, and polychlorinated biphenyls were typically present at concentrations below the detection limit. Moreover, the total coliforms count decreased by 4e5 log and Escherichia coli was absent from the membrane bioreactor permeate. These results, combined with the continuing reduction of the capital and operating costs for this approach, suggest that membrane bioreactors are an increasingly cost-effective technology to produce treated effluents that are suitable for reuse.

Application of membrane bioreactor technology for wastewater treatment and reuse in the Mediterranean region: Focusing on removal efficiency of non-conventional pollutants

BOLZONELLA, David;FATONE, Francesco;DI FABIO, Silvia;CECCHI, Franco
2010

Abstract

The Mediterranean Region is a semi-arid area whose land is facing serious erosion, causing adverse impacts on agriculture. To improve the water availability, researchers have proposed the reclamation and reuse of treated wastewater. In this paper, we report the main findings of 10 years of research on the efficiencies of a conventional activated sludge process and a submerged membrane bioreactor, with particular emphasis on the removal of non-conventional pollutants. The studies showed that the membrane bioreactor produced a virtually solids-free, high-quality permeate: most nutrients, heavy metals, and persistent organic pollutants were removed, and in particular, dioxins, furans, and polychlorinated biphenyls were typically present at concentrations below the detection limit. Moreover, the total coliforms count decreased by 4e5 log and Escherichia coli was absent from the membrane bioreactor permeate. These results, combined with the continuing reduction of the capital and operating costs for this approach, suggest that membrane bioreactors are an increasingly cost-effective technology to produce treated effluents that are suitable for reuse.
Membrane bioreactor; Nutrients; Heavy metals; Persistent organic pollutants; Water reclamation and reuse; Membrane treatment costs
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/345156
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