Advancing Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactors for Low Temperature Domestic Wastewater TreatmentLow Temperature Domestic Wastewater Treatment

Seminar Details
Friday, September 13, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Caroline Van Steendam
PhD Candidate - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Dissertation Co-Chairs: Professors Lutgarde Raskin, Steven Chairs: Professors Lutgarde Raskin, Steven Skerlos, and , and Ilse Smets


GM room room --Lurie Engineering CenterLurie Engineering Center(North Campus), University of Michigan(North Campus), University of Michigan

Water resource recovery facilities are being re-invented to allow for production of water of different levels of purity (drinking water to irrigation water), energy, and a variety of other products. Anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) have the potential to contribute to this need. AnMBRs combine anaerobic biological treatment with membrane filtration to convert organic carbon present in waste water in to renewable energy in the form of biogas while achieving excellent effluent quality. Past research suggested AnMBRs to be promising for domestic waste water treatment because of advantages such as small physical footprint, energy recovery, and stable effluent quality. In cold to temperate climates, the temperature of domestic waste water is generally below 20°C and can drop to below 5°C during the coldest days of the year. Operation at these temperatures raises economic and environmental challenges associated with membrane fouling and the loss of methane dissolved in the effluent. In this dissertation, I present critical reviews of the patent and academic literature to help identify promising AnMBR design features and microbiological monitoring methods focused on direct inter species electron transfer (DIET). I then apply this knowledge through lab-scale AnMBR studies designed for cold to temperate climates. By identifying designand operating characteristics best suited for low temperature AnMBR treatment of domestic waste water, this research contributes to pushing anaerobic waste water treatment towards net positive energy operation with minimal environmental impacts.