(780c) Forward Osmosis Hollow Fiber Membrane Incorporated With Ultrafiltration Bioreactor for Treatment of High-Strength Phenolic Wastewater

Nguyen, D. T., National University of Singapore
Praveen, P., National University of Singapore
Loh, K. C., National University of Singapore

Phenol and its derivatives are toxic compounds which can be found in the industrial wastewater from various manufacturing processes. These compounds have adverse effects on human health in terms of toxicity, persistence and bioaccumulation. Various methods are in place for removal of phenolic compounds, among which biodegradation is regarded as an environmentally friendly and cost effective treatment. However in such processes, substrate inhibition of microbial growth at high phenol concentrations poses a critical challenge.

In this project, a bioreactor incorporating forward osmosis and ultrafiltration is proposed to alleviate substrate inhibition in high-strength phenolic wastewater. Polyelectrolyte is added into the phenolic wastewater as draw solutes to effect forward osmosis, and for decreasing phenol to sub-inhibitory level, before biodegradation is effected in an ultrafiltration membrane bioreactor. The treated wastewater is circulated back to the system acting as dilution source, while polyelectrolyte is reused. Proof-of-concept will be a major focus of this project, followed by optimization of the operating conditions.