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Optimization of a nitrogen-removing biological wastewater treatment plant using on-line measurements

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The installation of continuous on-line measurements of ammonium and nitrate in the aeration tanks of a nitrogen removing activated sludge plant has reduced the nitrate amount in the effluent by 60%. This corresponds to a drop in the average total nitrogen concentration in the effluent from 7.8 mg/L to 5.1 mg/L. The operation of the nitrogen removal process and thereby the effluent concentrations has become more stable. By combining operational changes in the biosorption with on-line control of the process, it is possible to maintain full and stable denitrification at a BOD/N ratio of 3 to 4 without the use of any external carbon source, despite great variations in the loading of the plant. Monitoring of the microscopic characteristics of the sludge can be closely correlated with macroscopic characteristics such as sludge volume index.

Keywords: denitrification; nitrification; nutrient removal; operation; process control

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 1994

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  • 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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