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Activated-Sludge Yield Reduction Using Chemical Uncouplers

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To determine whether chemical additions can be used to reduce sludge production in biological wastewater treatment, uncouplers of respiratory adenosine triphosphate production were added to activated-sludge cultures. Effects of 12 uncoupling chemicals on cell yields in batch cultures were compared. The most effective of these chemicals, 2,4,5-trichlorophenol (TCP), was tested in a continuous-flow, bench-scale, completely mixed activated-sludge system treating simulated municipal wastewater. Initially, TCP addition reduced average yield by approximately 50%. After 80 days, sludge yield increased as TCP levels in the reactor decreased. Specific oxygen use rates were good indicators of sludge yields, increasing from 8 g O2/g volatile suspended solids (VSS)·d without TCP addition to approximately 20 g O2/g VSS·d, when sludge yield was lowest. These results suggest that addition of chemical uncouplers to biological wastewater treatment systems can significantly reduce sludge production, but long-term bioacclimation can eventually negate the effects of uncoupler addition.
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Keywords: ACCLIMATION; ACTIVATED SLUDGE; RESPIRATION; SLUDGE REDUCTION; TRICHLOROPHENOL; UNCOUPLERS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1999-07-01

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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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