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Optimization of the Intermittent Aeration in a Full-Scale Wastewater Treatment Plant Biological Reactor for Nitrogen Removal

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The optimization of the intermittent aeration in a full-scale biological reactor treating municipal and industrial wastewater has been studied by means of an experimental design, where the main factors considered have been the on–off period of aeration and the dissolved-oxygen set point. The objective of the work has been to determine the optimal configuration of the aeration control to achieve a simultaneous removal of carbon (expressed as chemical oxygen demand [COD]) and nitrogen.

The results were obtained in a full-scale bioreactor located at the wastewater treatment plant of Sant Celoni (Barcelona, Spain), where a nitrogen removal based on a nitrification–denitrification process is being tested. It has been shown that the crucial parameter to ensure a complete removal of COD and nitrogen is to give the system a long time of on–off aeration to complete both the nitrification and the denitrification processes, whereas the dissolved-oxygen set point has a minor influence on the overall performance.

The results presented can be applied to a great number of similar systems, in which a nitrogen removal, based on a nitrification–denitrification scheme, is currently being tested or implemented.
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Keywords: aeration control; denitrification; full-scale biological reactor; nitrification; nitrogen removal

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 2005

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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