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Effect of mercury-contaminated wastewater on activated sludge suspended solids size distribution

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The primal purpose of this research project is to examine the size distribution of the Suspended Solids (SS) of an activated sludge pilot plant, under different operational conditions and during the introduction of wastewater contaminated with mercury of different concentrations (10-100 µg/L Hg(NO3)2). While the experiment was being conducted, the most important parameters of the pilot plant (COD, TOC, MLSS, SS, NH4, PO4, total number of bacteria - coccoids and rods, pH, DO, T etc.) were measured; this fact led to the inference of conclusions that connect the distribution of the size of the SS with those parameters. The main conclusions of this research work are: (a) the important interaction of the removal ability of the organic loading of the plant and the size distribution of the SS at the aeration tank and the outlet of the plant and (b) the input of the mercury-contaminated wastewater at the plant affects the size distribution of the SS at the aeration tank. The second conclusion probably indicates a possible way that microorganisms of the aeration tank react to the introduction of mercury.

Keywords: Activated sludge; Mercury; Size distribution; Suspended Solids; Wastewater

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Environmental Studies University of the Aegean University Hill Mytilene - Lesvos 81-100 Greece

Publication date: 2004-07-01

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