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Modeling the fate of metals in municipal water pollution control plants

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A solution of seven metal salts was dosed into batch and continuous-flow dynamic wastewater experiments at bench- and pilot-scale to calibrate a computer-based mathematical model for predicting the fate of metals in municipal water pollution control plants (WPCPs). The model accounts for both precipitation and sorption onto primary and secondary sludges, and predicts the concentrations of metals in the primary sludge, return activated sludge, and secondary clarifier effluent. In dynamic step experiments, six of seven metals were removed substantially (55–99%) by the pilot activated sludge system. Lead and chromium were removed to the greatest extent while nickel was least removed. With the exception of nickel, a large fraction of the effluent metal concentrations were in particulate form. Below the solubility limits, a linear sorption model generally was able to simulate the observed effluent response to a step input. Sampling at a full-scale WPCP was conducted for testing the steady-state model's predictive capability. Except for lead, the predicted effluent concentrations agreed well with observed values.

Keywords: activated sludge; fate; metals; model; wastewater

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1993-03-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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