John T. Novak

Veolia Water, Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France

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Publications (127)171.9 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: This study investigates the effect of landfill age on landfill leachate characteristics; two aspects are focused here. One is ultraviolet absorbance at 254 nm (UV254) property, as the discharge of landfill leachates to publically owned treatment works can cause interference with UV254 disinfection. The other is biorefractory organic nitrogen in leachates, as it can contribute to effluent nitrogen making it difficult to meet stringent effluent nitrogen regulations. To study variation in UV254-absorbing organic carbon and organic nitrogen, leachate samples ranging from cells with ages 2 to 30 y from a large landfill in Kentucky, were collected and fractionated on a basis of their molecular weight and chemical nature into humic acids, fulvic acids and a hydrophilic fraction. The effectiveness of long term landfilling and membrane treatment for organic matter and organic nitrogen removal was examined. Humic materials, which were the major UV254-absorbing substances, were mainly >1 kDa and they degraded significantly with landfill age. The hydrophilic organic fraction, which was the major contributor to organic nitrogen, was mainly <1 kDa and it became increasingly recalcitrant with landfill age. This study provides insight into the characteristics of the different leachate fractions with landfilling age that might aid the design of on-site leachate treatment techniques.
    Waste management & research : the journal of the International Solid Wastes and Public Cleansing Association, ISWA. 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Prior research suggests that cold temperatures may stimulate the proliferation of certain ARGs and gene transfer elements during storage of biosolids. This could have important implications on cold weather storage of biosolids, as often required in northern climates until a time suitable for land application. In this study, levels of an integron-associated gene (intI1) and an ARG (sul1) were monitored in biosolids subject to storage at 4 °C, 10 °C, and 20 °C. Both intI1 and sul1 were observed to increase during short-term storage (less than two months), but the concentrations returned to background within four months. The increases in concentration were more pronounced at lower temperatures than ambient temperatures. Overall the results suggest that cold stress may induce horizontal gene transfer of integron-associated ARGs and that biosolids storage conditions should be considered prior to land application.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Letters in Applied Microbiology 09/2014; · 1.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To manage water quality in the Occoquan Reservoir, Virginia, a water reclamation facility discharges nitrified product water that reduces the release of undesirable substances (e.g., phosphorus, iron, and ammonia) from sediments during periods of hypolimnetic anoxia. Results showed that when the oxidized nitrogen (OxN) concentration input to the reservoir was lower than 5 mg N/L during periods of anoxia following thermal stratification, nitrate was depleted in the upper reaches of the reservoir resulting in the release of ammonia and orthophosphate from the sediments downstream. When the OxN input to the reservoir was operationally increased to a concentration greater than 10 mg-N/L, orthophosphate release was suppressed. Introducing OxN to the system decreased sediment ammonia release but did not eliminate it. By discharging reclaimed water that contained nitrate levels greater than 10 mg N/L, reservoir water quality was protected and the discharged nitrate was converted to nitrogen gas as it moved downstream.
    Water Environment Research 02/2014; 86(2):123-33. · 1.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: When landfill leachate, with or without biological pretreatment, is discharged to publically owned treatment works (POTWs), it can interfere with the installed treatment facilities. Biological treatment is ineffective for the removal of some of the bio-refractory organic matter, including UV254 quenching substances. Fenton's reagent treatment for biologically treated landfill leachates is examined in this study as a polishing step to make landfill leachates acceptable to POTWs. The optimum conditions for the Fenton's reagent treatment are explored. The molecular weight and hydrophobic-hydrophilic nature based fractions of the Fenton's treated leachate samples are analyzed to provide insight into the leachate fractions targeted by the Fenton's reagent. The results indicate that Fenton's reagent can act as a good compliment to biological treatment as it can remove leachate fractions which are widely considered to be bio-refractory. It exhibited good UV254 absorbance removal by removing larger molecular weight humic substances and thus, can help solve the UV254 quenching problem due to leachates discharged to POTWs.
    Chemosphere 01/2014; · 3.14 Impact Factor
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    Chang Min Park, John T Novak
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    ABSTRACT: The role of iron addition to sewage sludge prior to anaerobic digestion was evaluated to determine the effect of iron on digestion performance and generation of odor-causing compounds. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and volatile organic sulfur compounds (VOSCs) were the odorous gases evaluated in this study. Samples were obtained from seven municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), and batch anaerobic digestion tests were conducted using primary and secondary sludges at 30 day solids retention time (SRT) under mesophilic conditions. Volatile solid removal (VSR) was highly predictable with background iron concentrations measured in the combined sludge. They were likely to increase as influent iron content increased. 1.25% w/w ferric chloride (FeCl3) was added to the anaerobic digester feed in order to simulate iron addition for sulfide control in full-scale WWTPs. The results showed that it had a positive impact on digestion performance with higher VSR and odor control with reduced H2S and TVOSCs in the headspace gas of dewatered biosolids considered in the tests. Ferric chloride is considered a beneficial additive as a strategy for an odor mitigation, not to mention more efficient digestion under anaerobic conditions.
    Water Science & Technology 12/2013; 68(11):2391-2396. · 1.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Water resource recovery facilities have been described as creating breeding ground conditions for the selection, transfer, and dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) among various bacteria. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of direct addition of antibiotic and silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs, or nanosilver) on the occurrence of ARGs in thermophilic anaerobic digesters. Test thermophilic digesters were amended with environmentally-relevant concentrations of Ag NP (0.01, 0.1, and 1.0 mg-Ag/L; corresponding to approximately 0.7, 7.0, and 70 mg-Ag/kg total solids) and sulfamethoxazole (SMX) that span susceptible to resistant classifications (1, 5, and 50 mg/L) as potential selection pressures for ARGs. Tetracycline (tet(O), tet(W)) and sulfonamide (sulI, sulII) ARGs and the integrase enzyme gene (intI1) associated with Class 1 integrons were measured in raw sludge, test thermophilic digesters, a control thermophilic digester, and a control mesophilic digester. There was no apparent effect of Ag NPs on thermophilic anaerobic digester performance. The maximum SMX addition (50 mg/L) resulted in accumulation of volatile fatty acids and low pH, alkalinity, and volatile solids reduction. There was no significant difference between ARG gene copy numbers (absolute or normalized to 16S rRNA genes) in amended thermophilic digesters and the control thermophilic digester. Antibiotic resistance gene copy numbers in digested sludge ranged from 10(3) to 10(6) copies per microL (approximately 8 x10(1) to 8 x 10(4) copies per microg) of sludge as result of a 1-log reduction of ARGs (2-log reduction for intI1). Quantities of the five ARGs in raw sludge ranged from 10(4) to 10(8) copies per microL (approximately 4 x 10(2) to 4 x 10(6) per microg) of sludge. Test and control thermophilic digesters (53 degrees C, 12-day solids retention time [SRT]) consistently reduced but did not eliminate levels of all analyzed genes. The mesophilic digester (37 degrees C, 20-day SRT) also reduced levels of sulI, sulII, and intI1 genes, but levels of tet(O) and tet(W) were the same or higher than in raw sludge. Antibiotic resistance gene reductions remained constant despite the application of selection pressures, which suggests that digester operating conditions are a strong governing factor of the bacterial community composition and thus the prevalence of ARGs.
    Water Environment Research 05/2013; 85(5):411-21. · 1.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Landfill leachates strongly quench UV light. When discharged to POTWs, leachates can interfere with UV disinfection. To investigate the UV quenching problem of landfill leachates, a variety of landfill leachates with a range of conditions were collected and characterized. The UV blocking component was found to be resistant to biological degradation so they pass through wastewater treatment plants and impact the subsequent UV disinfection system. Leachate samples were fractionated into humic acids (HAs), fulvic Acids (FAs) and hydrophilic (Hpi) fractions to investigate the source of UV absorbing materials. Results show that for all leachates examined, the specific UV254 absorbance (SUVA254) of the three fractions follows: HA>FA>Hpi. However, the overall UV254 absorbance of the Hpi fraction was important because there was more hydrophilic organic matter than humic or fulvic acids. The size distribution was also investigated to provide information about the potential for membrane treatment. It was found that the size distribution of the three fractions follows: HA>FA>Hpi. This indicates that membrane separation following biological treatment is a promising technology for removal of humic substances from landfill leachates. Leachate samples treated in this manner could meet the UV transmittance requirement of the POTWs.
    Journal of hazardous materials 04/2013; 258-259C:1-9. · 4.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To explore the feasible treatment alternatives for organic contaminant, especially organic arsenic species in the landfill gas (LFG) condensate, a variety of treatment approaches were examined and evaluated in this study. Biological degradation, conventional and advanced oxidation, and physical absorption showed limited effectiveness to convert the methylated arsenic to inorganic arsenic. Reverse osmosis (RO) was found to be able to remove the organic arsenic and meet the discharge limits. Maximum removal efficiency and cost level were summarized for all treatment approaches tested, which can be a reference for the organic arsenic treatment method selection under different circumstances.
    Waste Management 02/2013; · 3.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies have demonstrated that wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) significantly alter the magnitude and distribution of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in receiving environments, indicating that wastewater treatment represents an important node for limiting ARG dissemination. This study examined the potential for membrane treatment of microconstituent ARGs and the effect of native wastewater colloids on the extent of their removal. Plasmids containing vanA (vancomycin) and bla(TEM) (β-lactam) ARGs were spiked into three representative WWTP effluents versus a control buffer and tracked by quantitative polymerase chain reaction through a cascade of microfiltration and ultrafiltration steps ranging from 0.45 μm to 1 kDa. Significant removal of ARGs was achieved by membranes of 100 kDa and smaller, and presence of wastewater colloids resulted in enhanced removal by 10 kDa and 1 kDa membranes. ARG removal was observed to correlate significantly with the corresponding protein, polysaccharide, and total organic carbon colloidal fractions. Alumina membranes removed ARGs to a greater extent than polyvinylidene fluoride membranes of the same pore size (0.1 μm), but only in the presence of wastewater material. Control studies confirmed that membrane treatment was the primary mechanism of ARG removal, versus other potential sources of loss. This study suggests that advanced membrane treatment technology is promising for managing public health risks of ARGs in wastewater effluents and that removal may even be enhanced by colloids in real-world wastewaters.
    Water Research 10/2012; · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Advanced anaerobic digestion processes aimed at improving the methanization of sewage sludge may be potentially impaired by the production of inhibitory compounds (e.g. free ammonia). The result of methanogenic inhibition is relatively high effluent concentrations of acetic acid and other soluble organics, as well as reduced methane yields. An extreme example of such an advanced process is the thermal hydrolytic pretreatment of sludge prior to high solids digestion (THD). Compared to a conventional mesophilic anaerobic digestion process (MAD), THD operates in a state of constant inhibition driven by high free ammonia concentrations, and elevated pH values. As such, previous investigations of the kinetics of methanogenesis from acetic acid under uninhibited conditions do not necessarily apply well to the modeling of extreme processes such as THD. By conducting batch ammonia toxicity assays using biomass from THD and MAD reactors, we compared the response of these communities over a broad range of ammonia inhibition. For both processes, increased inhibitor concentrations resulted in a reduction of biomass growth rate (r(max) = μ(max)∙X) and a resulting decrease in the substrate half saturation coefficient (K(S)). These two parameters exhibited a high degree of correlation, suggesting that for a constant transport limited system, the K(S) was mostly a linear function of the growth rate. After correcting for reactor pH and temperature, we found that the THD and MAD biomass were both able to perform methanogenesis from acetate at high free ammonia concentrations (equivalent to 3-5 g/L total ammonia nitrogen), albeit at less than 30% of their respective maximum rates. The reduction in methane production was slightly less pronounced for the THD biomass than for MAD, suggesting that the long term exposure to ammonia had selected for a methanogenic pathway less dependent on those organisms most sensitive to ammonia inhibition (i.e. aceticlastic methanogens).
    Water Research 09/2012; · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A cost effective and widely applied approach for landfill leachate disposal is to discharge it to a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The recalcitrant nature of leachate organics and the impact on the downstream WWTPs were comprehensively investigated in this study. Size fractionation by ultrafiltration (UF) and microfiltration (MF) was employed in conjunction with various analyses (TOC, COD, nitrogen species and UV(254) absorbance) on raw and biologically treated landfill leachates to provide insight into biological treatability. Overall, landfill leachate organics showed bio-refractory properties. Less than half of the organic matter, measured as total organic carbon (TOC), could be removed in the biological processes examined. Size distribution data showed that the <1 thousand Daltons (kDa) fraction is dominant in most untreated and treated landfill leachates, indicating difficulties for membrane treatment. Also, most removal occurred for the <1 kDa fraction in the biological processes, while the intermediate size fractions increased slightly. This may be caused by bio-flocculation and/or partial degradation of larger molecular weight fractions. Organic nitrogen was investigated in this study as one of the first explorations for landfill leachates. Organic nitrogen in landfill leachates was more bio-refractory than other organic matter. UV quenching by landfill leachates was also investigated since it interferes with the UV disinfection at WWTPs. The combination of activated carbon and activated sludge (PACT) showed some effectiveness for reducing UV quenching, indicating that carbon adsorption is a potential method for removal of UV quenching substances. Fourier transform Infrared (FT/IR) data showed that aromatic groups are responsible for the UV quenching phenomenon.
    Water Research 04/2012; 46(12):3837-48. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The presence of micropollutants can be a concern for land application of biosolids. Of particular interest are nonylphenol diethoxylate (NP(2)EO), nonylphenol monoethoxylate (NP(1)EO), and nonylphenol (NP), collectively referred to as NPE, which accumulate in anaerobically digested biosolids and are subject to regulation based on the environmental risks associated with them. Because biosolids are a valuable nutrient resource, it is essential that we understand how various treatment processes impact the fate of NPE in biosolids. Thermal hydrolysis (TH) coupled with mesophilic anaerobic digestion (MAD) is an advanced digestion process that destroys pathogens in biosolids and increases methane yields and volatile solids destruction. We investigated the impact of thermal hydrolysis pretreatment on the subsequent biodegradation of NPE in digested biosolids. Biosolids were treated with TH, anaerobic digestion, and aerobic digestion in laboratory-scale reactors, and NPE were analyzed in the influent and effluent of the digesters. NP(2)EO and NP(1)EO have been observed to degrade to the more estrogenic NP under anaerobic conditions; therefore, changes in the ratio of NP:NPE were of interest. The increase in NP:NPE following MAD was 56%; the average increase of this ratio in four sets of TH-MAD samples, however, was only 24.6 ± 3.1%. In addition, TH experiments performed in pure water verified that, during TH, the high temperature and pressure alone did not directly destroy NPE; TH experiments with NP added to sludge also showed that NP was not destroyed by the high temperature and pressure of TH when in a more complex sludge matrix. The post-aerobic digestion phases removed NPE, regardless of whether TH pretreatment occurred. This research indicates that changes in biosolids processing can have impacts beyond just gas production and solids destruction.
    Water Research 03/2012; 46(9):2937-46. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the relationship between concentrations of operationally defined potentially bioavailable organic ‐carbon (PBOC) and hydrolyzable amino acids (HAAs) in sediments collected from a diverse range of chloroethene‐‐contaminated sites. Concentrations of PBOC and HAA were measured using aquifer sediment samples collected at six selected study sites. Average concentrations of total HAA and PBOC ranged from 1.96 ± 1.53 to 20.1 ± 25.6 mg/kg and 4.72 ± 0.72 to 443 ± 65.4 mg/kg, respectively. Results demonstrated a statistically significant positive relationship between concentrations of PBOC and total HAA present in the aquifer sediment (p Document Type: Research Article DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-6592.2012.01406.x Publication date: November 1, 2012 $(document).ready(function() { var shortdescription = $(".originaldescription").text().replace(/\\&/g, '&').replace(/\\, '<').replace(/\\>/g, '>').replace(/\\t/g, ' ').replace(/\\n/g, ''); if (shortdescription.length > 350){ shortdescription = "" + shortdescription.substring(0,250) + "... more"; } $(".descriptionitem").prepend(shortdescription); $(".shortdescription a").click(function() { $(".shortdescription").hide(); $(".originaldescription").slideDown(); return false; }); }); Related content In this: publication By this: publisher In this Subject: Geology By this author: Thomas, Lashun K. ; Widdowson, Mark A. ; Novak, John T. ; Chapelle, Francis H. ; Benner, Ronald ; Kaiser, Karl GA_googleFillSlot("Horizontal_banner_bottom");
    Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation 01/2012; 32(4). · 1.05 Impact Factor
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation. 01/2012; 2012(2):1221-1234.
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    Jongmin Kim, John T Novak
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    ABSTRACT: A combined anaerobic/aerobic sludge digestion system was studied to determine the effect of aerobic solids retention time (SRT) on its solids and nitrogen removal efficiencies. After the anaerobic digester reached steady state, effluent from the anaerobic digester was fed to aerobic digesters that were operated at 2- to 5-day SRTs. The anaerobic system was fed with a mixture of primary and secondary sludge from a local municipal wastewater treatment plant. Both systems were fed once per a day. The aerobic reactor was continuously aerated with ambient air, maintaining dissolved oxygen level at 1.1 +/- 0.3 mg/L. At a 4-day or longer SRT, more than 11% additional volatile solids and 90% or greater ammonia were removed in the aerobic digester, while 32.8 mg-N/L or more nitrite/nitrate also was measured. Most total Kjeldahl nitrogen removal was via ammonia removal, while little organic nitrogen was removed in the aerobic digester.
    Water Environment Research 09/2011; 83(9):802-6. · 1.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, high-solids anaerobic digestion of thermally pretreated wastewater solids (THD) was compared with conventional mesophilic anaerobic digestion (MAD). Operational conditions, such as pretreatment temperature (150 to 170 degrees C), solids retention time (15 to 20 days), and digestion temperature (37 to 42 degrees C), were varied for the seven THD systems operated. Volatile solids reduction (VSR) by THD ranged from 56 to 62%, compared with approximately 50% for MAD. Higher VSR contributed to 24 to 59% increased biogas production (m3/kg VSR-d) from THD relative to MAD. The high-solids conditions of the THD feed resulted in high total ammonia-nitrogen (proportional to solids loading) and total alkalinity concentrations in excess of 14 g/L as calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Increased pH in THD reactors caused 5 to 8 times more un-ionized ammonia to be present than in MAD, and this likely led to inhibition of aceticlastic methanogens, resulting in accumulation of residual volatile fatty acids between 2 and 6 g/L as acetic acid. The THD produced biosolids cake that possessed low organic sulfur-based biosolids odor and dewatered to between 33 and 39% total solids. Dual conditioning with cationic polymer and ferric chloride was shown to be an effective strategy for mitigating dissolved organic nitrogen and UV-quenching compounds in the return stream following centrifugal dewatering of THD biosolids.
    Water Environment Research 09/2011; 83(9):815-25. · 1.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wastewater treatment processes are of growing interest as a potential means to limit the dissemination of antibiotic resistance. This study examines the response of nine representative antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) encoding resistance to sulfonamide (sulI, sulII), erythromycin (erm(B), erm(F)), and tetracycline (tet(O), tet(W), tet(C), tet(G), tet(X)) to various laboratory-scale sludge digestion processes. The class I integron gene (intI1) was also monitored as an indicator of horizontal gene transfer potential and multiple antibiotic resistance. Mesophilic anaerobic digestion at both 10 and 20 day solids retention times (SRTs) significantly reduced sulI, suII, tet(C), tet(G), and tet(X) with longer SRT exhibiting a greater extent of removal; however, tet(W), erm(B) and erm(F) genes increased relative to the feed. Thermophilic anaerobic digesters operating at 47 °C, 52 °C, and 59 °C performed similarly to each other and provided more effective reduction of erm(B), erm(F), tet(O), and tet(W) compared to mesophilic digestion. However, thermophilic digestion resulted in similar or poorer removal of all other ARGs and intI1. Thermal hydrolysis pretreatment drastically reduced all ARGs, but they generally rebounded during subsequent anaerobic and aerobic digestion treatments. To gain insight into potential mechanisms driving ARG behavior in the digesters, the dominant bacterial communities were compared by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. The overall results suggest that bacterial community composition of the sludge digestion process, as controlled by the physical operating characteristics, drives the distribution of ARGs present in the produced biosolids, more so than the influent ARG composition.
    Environmental Science & Technology 08/2011; 45(18):7855-61. · 5.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two multistaged anaerobic digestion systems, a four-stage thermophilic anaerobic digestion (4TAD), all at 55°C, and a four-stage anaerobic digestion with a tapered temperature configuration (4ADT) at 55, 49, 43, and 37°C, respectively, were studied to evaluate their solids, volatile organic sulfur compounds, and indicator organism (E. coli and fecal coliform) reduction potentials. The 4TAD system removed significantly more volatile solids from sludges than the 4ADT system (6%). However, the dewatered biosolids cakes from the 4ADT system generated fewer organic sulfur compounds than those from the 4TAD system. Both multistage systems showed better digestion efficiencies than single-stage mesophilic or single-stage thermophilic anaerobic digesters at the same overall retention time. However, the lowest organic sulfur compounds were observed from the single mesophilic system. Both multistage anaerobic digestion systems failed to dramatically remove DNA of the indicator organism, E. coli, quantified by real time polymerase chain reaction, even though the indicator organism densities measured by standard culturing methods satisfied EPA Class A biosolids requirements.
    Journal of Environmental Engineering 08/2011; 137(8). · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Excessive amounts of monovalent cations are known to cause deterioration in settling and dewatering properties of activated sludge. In this study, variations in the feeding pattern to a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) were evaluated to determine if the feed pattern could influence effluent quality and sludge characteristics under high monovalent cation concentrations. Data showed that deflocculation caused by high concentrations of sodium could be mitigated by using a feed cycle where the influent to the SBR was provided over a period of 1 minute. In contrast, when the feed was provided over 4 hours, deterioration in settling and effluent water quality was observed, as reflected by an increase in effluent suspended solids, effluent chemical oxygen demand, and capillary suction time.
    Water Environment Research 06/2011; 83(6):507-14. · 1.13 Impact Factor
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    Jongmin Kim, Chul Park, John T. Novak
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    ABSTRACT: A combination of two conditioning agents, aluminum sulfate and cationic polymer were applied to dewater anaerobically digested biosolids to study their impact to dewatering properties of biosolids and to sulfur based odor generation from dewatered biosolids. Lower sulfur based odor compounds were measured from dewatered biosolids conditioned with greater amount of aluminum sulfate (alum) while higher cationic polymer dose resulted in more sulfur based odors from dewatered biosolids. More alum deteriorated biosolids dewatering properties while more cationic polymer improved dewatering rates for biosolids. Overall data suggest that there exists an optimum combination of alum and cationic polymer dose for better biosolids dewatering characteristics and less sulfur-based odor generation from dewatered biosolids.
    KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering 03/2011; 15(3):447-451. · 0.38 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

963 Citations
171.90 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • Veolia Water
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 1987–2013
    • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
      • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
      Blacksburg, VA, United States
  • 2009
    • University of Massachusetts Amherst
      • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
      Amherst Center, MA, United States
  • 2008
    • CH2M Hill
      Englewood, Colorado, United States
  • 2006–2008
    • Bucknell University
      • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
      Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, United States