Browse Publications Technical Papers 2004-01-2463
2004-07-19

Design and Preliminary Evaluation of a Novel Gravity Independent Rotating Biological Membrane Reactor 2004-01-2463

The integration of membrane-aeration technology with biological water processors has direct application to wastewater treatment in microgravity because of the ability to diffuse gases across the membrane without two-phase interactions (gas-liquid). Membrane-aeration bioreactors have demonstrated the ability to deliver a terminal electron acceptor (O2) and substrates (CH4 and H2) to biofilms attached to the membrane surface. However, the process performance of these systems has been limited by mass transfer constraints. A novel bubbleless membrane-aeration bioreactor was design and tested at Kennedy Space Center. The Aerobic Rotational Membrane System (ARMS) consists of a rotational membrane module inside of a pressurized reactor vessel. Rotation of the membrane module enables a reduction in the mass transfer resistance coefficients associated with both the membrane/liquid boundary layer (kLa) and constituents in the bulk liquid, and it equalizes the concentration gradient across the bioreactor allowing for uniform biofilm formation and decreased bulk liquid O2 transfer. Preliminary engineering tests have been conducted to determine the effect of key operational parameters (i.e. rotational speed, superficial velocity) on O2 flux rates and hydrodynamic characteristics within the ARMS. This paper presents the ARMS design and results of the preliminary engineering tests.

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