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Use of Extant Kinetic Parameters to Predict Effluent Concentrations of Specific Organic Compounds at Full-Scale Facilities

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To use the results of kinetic tests to predict effluent concentrations of specific contaminants in activated sludge systems, the fraction of the biomass that has an ability to degrade the test compound (i.e., competent biomass) must be estimated. A calibration procedure was developed to assess the competent biomass concentration because the chemical oxygen demand (COD) fraction tended to underestimate the degrading fraction for three of the four test compounds. Acetone, for instance, had ameasured influent COD fraction of 0.08%, and the actual competent fraction was estimated to be 2.3%, based on the model calibration. Once the competent biomass fraction in the mixed liquor was determined, the extant kinetic parameters were subsequently used to predict activated sludge system performance. Predicted effluent concentrations were within 2, 5, and 16% of the average measured concentrations for acetone, linear alkylbenzene sulfonate, and furfural, respectively. Day-to-day predictions forthese compounds were less accurate, possibly because of the non-steady-state nature of the activated sludge systems studied. The difference between the fraction of the influent COD contributed by the target compounds and the competent biomass fraction in the mixed liquor was found to be more significant when the target compound contributed less than 1% of the influent organic matter. The chemical structure of the target compound and chemical composition of the influent likely had an effect onthe resulting competent biomass concentration. The total maximum growth rate, μX, was observed to be independent of the influent concentration of acetone and furfural, thus suggesting that the competent biomass concentration for these compounds was not affected by the changes in their influent concentrations. Consequently, a majority of competent biomass growth resulted from the degradation of other substrates, resulting in a competent biomass concentration significantly higher thanpredicted based on the influent COD fraction contributed by the test compound.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-09-01

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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.

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