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An industrial biological wastewater treatment plant for a specialty chemical manufacturing facility needed to be upgraded in order to meet new more stringent effluent discharge requirements. It was determined that effluent total suspended solids (TSS) was the key parameter that needed to be addressed as part of an upgrade effort. The plant's activated sludge system had a tendency to periodically produce high levels (around 200 mg/L) of dispersed TSS, which resisted flocculation. It was determined that this effluent TSS was primarily active biomass with poor flocculation characteristics. An extensive engineering effort was performed to assess options. Options included assessing the impact of operational improvements (use of flocculants, etc.) as well as the implementation of capital modifications. After completing the engineering effort, it was concluded that converting the activated sludge system to a membrane bioreactor (MBR) presented the most attractive upgrade alternative. Key reasons for this selection include the fact that the system will provide superior performance characteristics in this treatment situation for the addressing the effluent TSS issue. There are also several other benefits to plant operation that are detailed in the paper
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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