Activated-Sludge Yield Reduction Using Chemical Uncouplers

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Abstract:

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.

Keywords: ACCLIMATION; ACTIVATED SLUDGE; RESPIRATION; SLUDGE REDUCTION; TRICHLOROPHENOL; UNCOUPLERS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143097X122013

Publication date: July 1, 1999

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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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