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Influence of Cations on Activated-Sludge Effluent Quality

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Abstract:

Laboratory experiments and field tests were conducted to determine the effect of inorganic cations on effluent from activated-sludge systems. Laboratory experiments showed that monovalent cations tend to increase the concentration of solution biological polymers(biopolymers), whereas divalent cations tend to retain the biopolymers in the floc. Biopolymers in solution affect effluent chemical oxygen demand (COD). Coagulation tests were performed on the effluent with ferric chloride. Ferric hydroxide can coagulate protein through possible adsorptive interactions and may be responsible for some biopolymer retention in the flocs. In the field study, it was found that sodium ions in the influent wastewater caused an increase in proteins and polysaccharides in solution, thereby increasing the effluent COD concentration of the treated municipal wastewater. The attachment or release of these microbially derived organic biopolymers and recalcitrant influent substrate may depend on the monovalent-to-divalent cation ratio and the concentration of iron. Modeling of effluent organics in the activated-sludge process can be enhanced through incorporation of concepts that take into account the partitioning (between floc and solution) of microbial biopolymers and influent recalcitrant substrate.

Keywords: ACTIVATED SLUDGE; BIOPOLYMER; CATION; CHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND; EFFLUENT; IRON; POLYSACCHARIDE; PROTEIN; SOLUBLE MICROBIAL PRODUCT

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143001X138651

Publication date: January 1, 2001

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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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