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Theoretical Limits to Biological Phosphorus Removal: Rethinking the Influent Cod:N:P Ratio

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The theoretical limits of biological phosphorus removal are calculated in this paper in terms of the influent total biodegradable COD (including the particulate slowly biodegradable portion) and based on whether fermented sludge is composed of influent substrate or activated sludge biomass. Sensitivity analyses using calibrated models show the influence of anaerobic mass fractions on approaching these limits. Calibration to full-scale systems including the City of Henderson NV, Pinery Water CO, St Cloud MN, Seneca Lakes MN, and Loughborough, UK identify the benefit of fermenting mixed-liquor upstream in the process, immediately after it has adsorbed degradable substrate from the influent. Challenges with calibrating the BioWin model to observed behavior of systems employing mixed liquor fermentation are discussed, notably, the need to model decay of PAOs as a maintenance process and calibrate the amount of hydrogen generated during fermentation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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