Modeling Microbial Decay in a Cannibal Sludge Minimization Process

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To simulate a Cannibal-EBPR system, a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) operated with anaerobic and aerobic cycles was coupled with an anaerobic sidestream bioreactor, which received mixed liquor from the SBR and returned same amount of treated sludge back to the SBR. A mathematical model of the system was used to evaluate the biomass decay coefficient, b, for a control SBR without the sidestream bioreactor and the decay coefficients for the Cannibal-EBPR system. A 40% reduction in the decay coefficient was observed between the control SBR and the Cannibal system. The Cannibal system tripled the sludge inventory in the process increasing the overall rate of biomass decay. The observed biomass yield in the Cannibal-EBPR system was estimated to be 0.17 mg VSS/mg COD removed, which represented a 56% reduction in yield compared to a Control-EBPR system operated with a 10-day solids retention time. The implication of these observations for modeling and evaluation of these types of systems are discussed.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2007

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