Viability and Application of Primary Sludge Fermentate as a BNR Supplemental Carbon Source

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Since the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) water pollution control plants (WPCP) receive weak wastewater, a nitrogen rich recycle stream generated from dewatered biosolids and has limited anoxic capacity, supplemental carbon has been a prime focus in their ongoing BNR research. Primary sludge fermentation research was conducted at the PO-55A BNR Pilot Plant Facility at the 26th Ward WPCP and focused on two key aspects: The quality and quantity of fermentate produced and the effectiveness of the fermentate as a supplemental carbon source. Ambient fermentation was tested at two SRT/volatile solids loadings (fermenter solids loadings) ranges: a low-rate of 8 – 9 day SRT at 100 – 200 kgVSS/d (1.3 lb/ft2 –d) and an increased-rate of 4 – 4.5 day SRT at 300 – 600 kgVSS/d (3.9 lb/ft2 –d). The average sCOD for the low-rate operating period was 1230 mg/L and increased to 1760 mg/L for the increased-rate operating period. The total suspended solids (TSS) concentrations in the fermentate decreased from 400 – 700 mg/L TSS to 300 – 400 mg/L TSS as operations moved from the low rate to the increased rate. Likewise, the fermentate sCOD:NH3 ratio correlated with SRT where low-rate operating periods showed ratios between 20 – 50 and the increased-rate operating periods showed ratios typically between 40 – 90 despite a constant NH3:sKN ratio of 0.6 – 0.8 mg NH3/mg sKN. 85 – 90% of the fermentates 1000 – 2000 mg/L sCOD is in the form of a VFA consisting mainly of acetic and propionic acids.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2003

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