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Air Cycling Enhanced Carbonaceous and Nitrogen Compounds Removal with Pilot Scale Submerged Poo-Gloo™ Dome Sets

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This research describes pilot scale experiments for efficient removal of dissolved organic and nitrogen compounds in domestic wastewater using dome shaped aerated submerged bio-film (ASBF) reactors. The reactors, also named Poo-Gloos™, can be used to economically retrofit existing shallow wastewater lagoon systems. Each Poo-Gloo is made up of four concentric ABS domes. The diameters of the scaled dome sets used in this experiment are 1.12 m, 0.96 m, 0.81 m and 0.66 m, respectively. The base of each scaled Poo-Gloo holds the bottom edges of the domes 0.05 m off the bottom of the tank to allow water to circulate into the bottom openings. The spaces between the domes are filled with 0.05 m polypropylene pall (PP) rings with surface to volume ratio of 93 m2/m3, which effectively doubles the total surface area in the test tank. The total surface area provided by the seven Poo-Gloos with filled PP rings is about 166 m2. The total working volume of the pilot tank is 10,500 L. The total air supply to seven Poo-Gloos was 85 L/min. The structures are designed to encourage the growth of heterotrophic and autotrophic bacterial bio-film on a submerged surface. They also force the direct contact of rising air bubbles against the submerged bio-film. This direct gas-phase contact is postulated to increase the oxygen transfer rate into the bio-film, as well as increase the micro-climate mixing of water, nutrients, and waste products into and out of the bio-films. This research investigated the removal rates of dissolved organic matter (measured as chemical oxygen demand or COD), and nitrogen (measured as ammonia/ammonium, nitrate/nitrite, and total nitrogen) on a mass per time per surface area of submerged bio-film. The bio-film removes carbonaceous organic material, and nitrogen compounds from the wastewater, even at temperatures below 10° C. The ammonium removal rate was observed to be 0.32 g/m2/d with a water temperature of 6.4 °C. Denitrification was enhanced by cycling the air off for a certain period each day. The large scale test tank has dimensions of 6.7 m long, 2.2 m wide and 0.72 m deep, and contains seven Poo- Gloos. It was run in both batch mode and also a punctuated influent, stirred tank reactor (PISTR) mode. The results show that Poo-Gloos efficiently remove pollutants in wastewater and air cycling plays an important role to balance nitrification with de-nitrification to maximize the removal of nitrogen compounds from the water.
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Keywords: BOD removal; Poo-Gloos; aerated submerged bio-film; air cycling; cold temperature nitrification; denitrification

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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