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Effect of Chemical Phosphorus Precipitation on Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal in MBR Application to Achieve Extremely Low Effluent Total Phosphorus

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Pilot test indicates that the University of Cape Town (UCT) process combined with membrane biomass separation and chemical precipitation is able to achieve a very low total phosphorous (TP) concentration of <0.032 mgP/L under constant flow conditions. With chemical dosed into in a chemical contact tank between the aerobic bioreactor and membrane tank and chemical precipitation take place in the contact tank down steam of aerobic bioreactor, the average soluble TP concentration in aerobic bioreactor was averaged at 0.23 mg/L, which is about one order of magnitude higher than MBR effluent. The nitrification, de-nitrification and BOD/COD removal was not affected by low soluble phosphorus concentration as necessary nutrient. Some data hints the biological phosphorus removal was not very active, that is probably because the ortho-phosphate concentration in aerobic bioreactor is low and phosphors accumulation organisms can not accumulate enough poly-phosphate.

Five process operation scenarios were simulated using BioWin (2006). Steady state simulation shows biological and chemical phosphorus removal can take place together and chemical phosphorus precipitation does not obviously changes the population of phosphorous accumulation organisms. However, dynamic simulation shows the competition between the chemical phosphorus removal and biological phosphorus removal at the dynamic situation may make the operation difficult. This bring a topic that needs further investigation: How to develop an reliable online phosphorus analyzer and use model to feed forward control alum dosing that may keep both chemical and biological phosphorus removal efficient.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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