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Modeling Nonsteady-State Conditions and Kinetics of Mass Transport for Hydrophobic Compounds in Activated-Sludge Treatment

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A new model that describes the fate of hydrophobic and volatile organic compounds in activated-sludge treatment includes two novel features. First, all of the mass balances are nonsteady state, which allows the model to describe the effects of transients in loading, temperature, or operation. Second, the model describes the mass transfer of hydrophobic compounds with kinetics, not equilibrium. A series of examples demonstrate the new features of the model and how they can be important. When the kinetics of mass transfer are not fast, hydrophobic compounds remain significantly out of equilibrium, even when the system is operating at steady state. When the loading of a hydrophobic compound increases, its aqueous-phase concentration approaches (but does not quite reach) its steady-state concentration much more rapidly than does the density of the adsorbed hydrophobic compound. Finally, the importance of mass-transport kinetics between the aqueous and sorbed phases suggests that research should be focused on this poorly understood mechanism in activated sludge.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-05-01

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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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