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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Structure and distribution of inorganic components in the cake layer of a membrane bioreactor treating municipal wastewater

  • Author(s): Zhou, L
  • Xia, S
  • Alvarez-Cohen, L
  • et al.

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. A laboratory-scale submerged anoxic-oxic membrane bioreactor treating municipal wastewater was operated to investigate the structure and distribution of the inorganic cake layer buildup on the membrane. BCR (European Community Bureau of Reference) sequential extraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and both map and line scan of energy-dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) were performed for cake layer characterization. BCR results showed that Si, Al, Ca, Mg, Fe, and Ba were the predominant inorganic elements in the cake layer, and they occurred mostly as crystal particles. Crystal SiO2was the dominant inorganic compound while Ca in the form of CaSO4(dominant) and CaCO3were also present, but exerted little effect on the cake layer structure because most of these compounds were deposited as precipitates on the reactor bottom. EDX results indicated that Si and Al accumulated together along the cross-sectional cake layer in the form of Si-Al (SiO2-Al2O3) crystal particles.

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