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Performance comparison between activated sludge and fixed film processes for priority pollutant removals

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This study compared the performance of activated sludge (AS) and fixed-film processes in removing organic priority pollutants from a municipal /industrial wastewater. The study employed parallel low and high-loaded laboratory-scale AS and biological aerated filter (BAF) reactors. The research focused on the fate of six selected volatile organic compounds (VOCs), although GC/MS scans were also performed to evaluate the fate of other organic priority pollutants. The AS and BAF reactors achieved comparable VOC removals and stripping rates were slightly higher for the AS reactors; biodegradation rates were slightly higher for the BAF reactors. Observed removals, which ranged from 32% for methylene chloride to over 95% for toluene, compared well with removal rates observed in previous studies. Consequential adsorption rates were observed for numerous basic or neutral and pesticide pollutants in both processes.
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Keywords: activated sludge; biological aerated filter; fixed-film; priority pollutant; volatile organic compound

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 1994

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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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