Investigating the mechanism of sludge reduction in activated sludge with an anaerobic side-stream reactor

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA.
Water Science & Technology (Impact Factor: 1.11). 01/2011; 63(1):93-9. DOI: 10.2166/wst.2011.015
Source: PubMed


To investigate the mechanism of sludge reduction in activated sludge (AS) with an anaerobic side-stream reactor (ASSR), four AS systems with different digestion schemes were operated in the laboratory. The four systems are: a) AS+ASSR; b) AS+aerobic digester; c) AS+anaerobic digester; and d) AS with no solids wastage. The average sludge yield of AS+ASSR from two phases was 0.14 mgVSS/mgCOD, which is 22-54% less than that from the three other systems. The accounting of biomass in AS+ASSR system revealed that 50% of sludge is degraded in ASSR while the other half is degraded in the aeration basin. Furthermore, both whole sludge and centrate from ASSR led to a significant oxygen uptake in AS, indicating the importance of aerobic biodegradation in AS+ASSR system. The extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) data showed that base-extractable EPS was much smaller for AS with ASSR than with no wastage. In contrast, cation exchange resin-EPS was similar for both systems. These results indicate that degradation of base-extractable EPS accounts for the lower sludge yield in AS+ASSR, and based on the literature this organic pool is believed to be aluminium and/or iron-bound EPS. The microbial profile data suggests that recirculation in AS+ASSR selects some unique microorganisms. Further research is warranted to study their role in sludge reduction.

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    • "A configuration (Fig. 1c) that appears frequently in literature is a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) with an anaerobic side-stream reactor (SSR). Chon et al. (2011a; 2011b) and Kim et al. (2012) "
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    ABSTRACT: Alternate cycling of sludge in aerobic, anoxic, and anaerobic regimes is a promising strategy that can reduce the sludge yield of conventional activated sludge (CAS) by up to 50% with potentially lower capital and operating cost than physical- and/or chemical-based sludge minimisation techniques. The mechanisms responsible for reducing sludge yield include alterations to cellular metabolism and feeding behaviour (metabolic uncoupling, feasting/fasting, and endogenous decay), biological floc destruction, and predation on bacteria by higher organisms. Though discrepancies across various studies are recognisable, it is apparent that sludge retention time, oxygen-reduction potential of the anaerobic tank, temperature, sludge return ratio and loading mode are relevant to sludge minimisation by sludge cycling approaches. The impact of sludge minimisation on CAS operation (e.g., organics and nutrient removal efficiency and sludge settleability) is highlighted, and key areas requiring further research are also identified.
    Bioresource Technology 01/2014; 155. DOI:10.1016/j.biortech.2014.01.029 · 4.49 Impact Factor
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    • "The Waste activated sludge (WAS) produced from the biological waste water treatment process has dramatically increased in recent decades due to quantitative and qualitative expansion of waste water treatment (Yang et al., 2010).The increasing amount of WAS derived from waste water treatment process had become a serious environmental issue (Chon et al., 2011). Therefore different methods have been developed to minimize the sludge production and to reduce the excess sludge. "
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    Bioresource Technology 10/2013; 150C:210-219. DOI:10.1016/j.biortech.2013.10.021 · 4.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the mechanism of sludge reduction in the anaerobic side-stream reactor (SSR) process, activated sludge with five different sludge reduction schemes were studied side-by-side in the laboratory. These are activated sludge with: 1) aerobic SSR, 2) anaerobic SSR, 3) aerobic digester, 4) anaerobic digester, and 5) no sludge wastage. The system with anaerobic SSR (system #2) was the focus of this study and four other systems served as control processes with different functions and purposes. Both mathematical and experimental approaches were made to determine solids retention time (SRT) and sludge yield for the anaerobic SSR process. The results showed that the anaerobic SSR process produced the lowest solids generation, indicating that sludge organic fractions degraded in this system are larger than other systems that possess only aerobic or anaerobic mode. Among three systems that involved long SRT (system #1, #2, and #5), it was only system #2 that showed stable sludge settling and effluent quality, indicating that efficient sludge reduction in this process occurred along with continuous generation of normal sludge flocs. This observation was further supported by batch anaerobic and aerobic digestion data. Batch digestion on sludges collected after 109 days of operation clearly demonstrated that both anaerobically and aerobically digestible materials were removed in activated sludge with anaerobic SSR. In contrast, sludge reduction in the aerobic SSR process or no wastage system was achieved by removal of mainly aerobically digestible materials. All these results led us to conclude that repeating sludge under both feast/fasting and anaerobic/aerobic conditions (i.e., activated sludge with anaerobic SSR) is necessary to achieve the highest biological solids reduction with normal wastewater treatment performance.
    Water Research 09/2011; 45(18):6021-9. DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2011.08.051 · 5.53 Impact Factor
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