Extensive laboratory tests were conducted to determine the best means of polymer conditioning and dewatering for waste solids from a membrane bioreactor (MBR). A sequence of test methods is described for this purpose. Polymer demand was found consistently in excess of 20 lb/ton
dry solids, regardless of polymer used or manner of addition. When thickening and dewatering were both preceded by polymer addition, the first polymer did not impair effective conditioning by the second polymer. However, use of a single polymer addition, with thickening and dewatering combined,
appears to require less total polymer than with the two sequential separation processes.
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