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Simultaneous Nitrification–Denitrification and Clarification in a Pseudoliquified Activated Sludge System

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This paper describes results from a pilot study of a novel wastewater treatment technology, which incorporates nutrient removal and solids separation to a single step. The pseudoliquified activated sludge process pilot system was tested on grit removal effluent at flowrates of 29.4 to 54.7 m3/d, three different solid residence times (SRT) (15, 37, and 57 days), and over a temperature range of 12 to 28°C. Despite wide fluctuations in the influent characteristics, the system performed reliably and consistently with respect to organics and total suspended solids (TSS) removals, achieving biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and TSS reductions of >96% and approximately 90%, respectively, with BOD5 and TSS concentrations as low as 3 mg/L. Although the system achieved average effluent ammonia concentrations of 2.7 to 3.2 mg/L, nitrification efficiency appeared to be hampered at low temperatures (<15°C). The system achieved tertiary effluent quality with denitrification efficiencies of 90 and 91% total nitrogen removal efficiency at a total hydraulic retention time of 4.8 hours and an SRT of 12 to 17 days. With ferric chloride addition, effluent phosphorous concentrations of 0.5 to 0.8 mg/L were achieved. Furthermore, because of operation at high biomass concentrations and relatively long biological SRTs, sludge yields were over 50% below typical values for activated sludge plants. The process was modeled using activated sludge model No. 2, as a two-stage system comprised an aerobic activated sludge system followed by an anoxic system. Model predictions for soluble BOD, ammonia, nitrates, and orthophosphates agreed well with experimental data.

Keywords: Municipal wastewater treatment; denitrification; nitrification; nitrogen removal; process modeling; simultaneous nitrification–denitrification; tertiary treatment

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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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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