The anaerobic treatment of wastewater containing approximately 2000 mg L −1 N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) was conducted by a lab-scale submerged anaerobic membrane bioreactor (SAnMBR). The inoculum consisted of aerobic DMF-hydrolyzing activated sludge (DAS) and anaerobic digested sludge (ADS). A rapid start-up was achieved with thorough DMF methanogenic degradation on the first day. The results of a 250-day long-term experiment demonstrated that under a low organic loading rate (OLR) of 3.14–4.16 g COD L −1 d −1 , SAnMBR maintained excellent DMF removal efficiency along with high methane conversion. However, the elevation of OLR significantly limited DMF hydrolysis. When OLR exceeded 6.54 g COD L −1 d −1 , both removal efficiency and methane production dramatically dropped. The DMF-hydrolyzing bacteria originating from the DAS gradually decayed under the anaerobic condition, resulting in the weak hydrolysis of DMF. The shortening of hydraulic retention time (HRT) is not recommended for the SAnMBR because severe membrane fouling occurred when HRT was shortened to 8 h. To handle high OLRs, an appropriate solution is to maintain a low F/M ratio by increasing both the influent DMF concentration and sludge concentration. The high CH 4 content in the biogas, exceeding 85%, was shown to be the reason for the suitability of anaerobic treatment to DMF. Some improvements which would help to maintain the effective hydrolysis are proposed: a side-stream system to replenish DAS to the SAnMBR is helpful; slight dosage of nitrate could also help to enrich the DMF-hydrolyzing bacteria; and the co-digestion of DMF and other organics might be convenient to establish a stable DMF-degrading consortium.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal