Potential of water reuse for high strength fruit and vegetable processor wastewater by Membrane Bioreactor (MBR)
Research was completed on the effectiveness of aerobic membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology for treating high strength food processing wastewater. Specifically, the ability to reduce BOD, TSS and nutrients below municipal sewer discharge limits. The parameters studied include the operational flux, solids and hydraulic retention times and recirculation ratio with regards to nitrification/denitrification. Wastewater was taken from two industrial partners processing a variety of fruit and vegetable produce, which were characterized by relatively high amounts of organics and nutrients. The MBR had excellent removal efficiency at 97% COD, 99% BOD, 99.9% TSS, 90% TKN, and 60% TP for both industrial partners and can effectively eliminate the surcharges. Investigation into reuse application was also completed by looking at post-MBR treatment methods that included activated carbon and UV disinfection. The colour removal and disinfection indicates good potential for these technologies in the fruit and vegetable industry for water reuse application.