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Oxidation of Excess Organic Sludge from a Moving-bed Biofilm Process

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Biological oxidation of organic sludge yielded by a moving-bed biofilm process utilizing PVA-gel beads as the biocarrier was investigated. In contrast to previous studies with industrial wastewaters free of suspended solids (SS), in this pilot test treatment of a municipal wastewater was considered where the influent SS could have a significant impact on sludge decay. Under steady-state conditions without wasting any sludge from the system, excess sludge was maintained in an aerobic oxidation process at a level of 8 g/L with a hydraulic retention time of 8 h. A mass-balance across the system indicated biomass yield and decay rates suitable for effective elimination of organic sludge. Though further observation is warranted to evaluate performance over long-term operation, results here suggest that excess organic sludge of a municipal wastewater treatment plant can be greatly reduced in quantity by using a PVA-gel biofilm process coupled with endogenous decay of excess biomass.
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  • Water Practice™ publishes peer-reviewed articles and reports focusing on applied water studies. Topics include monitoring, facility operations and maintenance, management, policy, and other issues of interest and concern to water practitioners. The Journal publishes on a monthly to bi-monthly basis and is available online only.
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