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Recycling water and nutrients using a high-rate membrane bioreactor coupled with an ion-exchange system

Funding: 2010: $100,000
2011: $95,000
2012: $95,000

Project Member(s): Vigneswaran, S.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Projects)

Start year: 2010

Summary: The recycling of water and nutrients is becoming an issue of high Australian and international priority. Membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology combines biological treatment and membrane filtration for solid/liquid separation. Traditional MBR has the drawbacks of partial removal of nutrients, high costs and a large footprint.We will develop a compact high-rate MBR coupled with a fluidized ion exchange system for complete pollutant removal and nutrient recovery. This will involve i) designing a compact system by coupling MBR with inert media which remove organic matter with less fouling and ii) developing efficient hybrid media for nutrient removal and recovery by ion exchange.


Johir, M, Shanmuganathan, S, Vigneswaran, S & Kandasamy, JK 2013, 'Performance of submerged membrane bioreactor (SMBR) with and without the addition of the different particle sizes of GAC as suspended medium', Bioresource Technology, vol. 141, pp. 13-18.
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Loganathan, L, Vigneswaran, S & Kandasamy, JK 2013, 'Enhanced removal of nitrate from water using surface modification of adsorbents - A review', Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 131, no. 1, pp. 363-374.
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Keywords: high rate membrane bioreactor; Wastewater treatment and reuse; nutrient recovery; ion exchange;

FOR Codes: Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Coastal and Estuarine Land Management