The investigation of dairy industry wastewater treatment in a biological high performance membrane system
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The dairy industry is generally considered to be the largest source of food processing wastewater in many countries. The highly variable nature of dairy wastewaters in terms of volumes and flowrates and in terms of high organic materials contents such as COD 921-9004 mg L(-1), BOD 483-6080 mg L(-1). TN of 8-230 mg L(-1) and SS of 134-804 mg L(-1) makes the choice of an effective wastewater treatment regime difficult. A high performance bioreactor, an aerobic jet loop reactor, combined with a ceramic membrane filtration unit, was used to investigate its suitability for the treatment of the dairy processing wastewater. The oxygen transfer rates of the bioreactor were found to be very high (100-285 h(-1)) on the operating conditions. A loading rate of 53 kg COD m(-3) d(-1) resulted in 97-98% COD removal efficiencies under 3 h hydraulic retention time. The high MLSS concentrations could be retained in the system (up to 38,000 mg L(-1)) with the contribution of UF (ultrafiltration) unit. During the filtration of activated sludge, the fluxes decreased with increasing MLSS. Cake formation fouling was determined as dominant fouling mechanisms. The results demonstrate that jet loop membrane bioreactor system was a suitable and effective treatment choice for treating dairy industry wastewater.