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Start-up and Operation of a Leachate MBR Plant

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The Pollution Control Financing Authority of Warren County (PCFAWC or Authority), New Jersey, operates a solid waste landfill. Leachate collected in the landfill cell underdrain system drains to a lined basin, from which it had historically been pumped via an adjoining wastewater collection system to a 1,890 m3/d (0.5 mgd) regional Publicly Owned Treatment Plant (POTW). Significant increases in leachate flow volumes and ammonia loads required the PCFAWC to evaluate alternative leachate disposal options. Pretreatment of the leachate in a Membrane Bioreactor process (MBR) was ultimately selected after the evaluation of alternatives and the completion of pilot tests. The MBR plant has been successfully operating for two years, meeting its design requirements. Initial problems with the MBR reactor foaming and elevated effluent color were overcome. The plant achieves full nitrification and significant denitrification while requiring minimal cleaning of the ultrafiltration (UF) membranes. Elevated process temperatures experienced are demonstrated to be a result of the high energy mechanical equipment (high pressure pumps) and heat of the biological reactions.
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Keywords: MBR; TDS; ammonia; color; elevated temperature; foaming; heat balance; landfill leachate

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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