Dotro G.,Cranfield University |
Jefferson B.,Cranfield University |
Jones M.,Waste Water Research and Development |
Vale P.,Waste Water Research and Development |
And 2 more authors.
Environmental Technology | Year: 2011
Intermittent aeration of activated sludge plants (ASPs) is a potential strategy that may help deliver reduced operational costs while providing an adequate effluent quality. This review paper critically assesses the implications of temporary turning aeration off in continuous flow nitrifying ASPs, including impact on dissolved oxygen concentrations, process biology and operational parameters. The potential savings and pitfalls of the approach are further illustrated through an example scenario. Findings from this review indicate rapid dissolved oxygen depletion times of 1-60 minutes and a significant reduction of nitrification rates from 0.12 to less than 0.04 g NH 4-N/g VSS/d. Further negative impacts include a potential increase in nitrous oxide emissions from 0.07% to 27% N 2O-N per mole of NH 4-N oxidized; enhanced filamentous bacteria growth; a noticeable increase in effluent turbidity developing within one hour of air supply interruption; and, if no mechanical mixing is in place, risk of mixed liquor suspended solids settling in the bioreactor within short times (23-53 min). However, the potential savings in terms of aeration costs could amount to 33%-45% if instrumentation adequacy and impact on process biology and carbon equivalent emissions are excluded from the economic analysis. Further research on the areas of nitrous oxide emissions and the use of hybrid systems to provide resilience and robustness to the intermittent operation of continuous flow nitrifying ASPs is recommended. © 2011 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.