Biological Fluidized-Bed Treatment of Wastewater from Byproduct Coking Operations: Full-Scale Case History

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The Algoma Steel byproduct coke plant consists of three coke-oven batteries capable of producing approximately 3 000 t/d of coke. The source of the primary process wastewater from the coke plant is the excess flushing liquor or weak ammonia liquor produced during initial cooling of coke-oven gases. This raw liquor stream is directed to an ammonia still where ammonia is recovered through steam stripping. Wastewater is then directed to a biological treatment plant designed for phenolics removal. The biological treatment scheme used at Algoma is a fluidized-bed reactor (FBR) system. Design of the system anticipated a median phenolic load of 1 117 kg/d (2 463 lb/d), consisting of a phenolics concentration of 1 012 mg/L in the wastewater and a flow of 46.1 m3/h (203 gpm).

Nine days after start-up, the FBRs were receiving more than 40 m3/h of wastewater containing 1 000 mg/L of phenolics and an approximately equal amount of clean mill water, added as dilution water for temperature control. Effluent from the system contained less than 5 mg/L phenolics. During a 6-week performance assessment of the system, which began approximately 2 weeks after process start-up, FBRs achieved more than 99% phenolics reduction based on diluted wastewater feed concentration. Approximately 5 weeks after process start-up, thiocyanate in the effluent was reduced to less than 5 mg/L, representing approximately 95% removal based on diluted wastewater feed concentration. At this time the biomass concentration, measured as volatile solids, in the FBRs was greater than 15 g/L.
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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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