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Campos, J. L., del Rio, A. V., Pedrouso, A., Raux, P., Giustinianovich, E. A., & Mosquera-Corral, A. (2017). Granular biomass floatation: A simple kinetic/stoichiometric explanation. Chem. Eng. J., 311, 63–71.
Abstract: Floatation events are commonly observed in anammox, denitrifying and anaerobic granular systems mostly subjected to overloading conditions. Although several operational strategies have been proposed to avoid floatation of granular biomass, until now, there is no consensus about the conditions responsible for this phenomenon. In the present study, a simple explanation based on kinetic and stoichiometric principles defining the aforementioned processes is provided. The operational zones corresponding to evaluated parameters where risk of floatation exists are defined as a function of substrate concentration in the bulk liquid and the radius of the granule. Moreover, the possible control of biomass floatation by changing the operating temperature was analyzed. Defined operational zones and profiles fit data reported in literature for granular biomass floatation events. From the study the most influencing parameter on floatation occurrence has been identified as the substrate concentration in the bulk media. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Carrera, P., Mosquera-Corral, A., Mendez, R., Campos, J. L., & del Rio, A. V. (2019). Pulsed aeration enhances aerobic granular biomass properties. Biochem. Eng. J., 149, 7 pp.
Abstract: The reduced footprint of Aerobic Granular Sludge (AGS) systems constitutes a good alternative to conventional treatments, despite their associated drawbacks (long start-up periods and high aeration requirements for granules formation and integrity). This study presents a pulsed aeration regime as a strategy to overcome these problems. Two AGS sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) were operated treating low-strength wastewater (190 mg COD/L) with pulses of 1 s ON/2 s OFF (R1) and continuous aeration (R2). Initially, different superficial gas velocities (SGV) of 3.6 cm/s (R1) and 1.2 cm/s (R2) were imposed for the same airflow (448 L/cycle). The granulation process was completed in 38 days for R1 whereas it took 48 days for R2. Denser and smaller granules were formed with pulsed regime and phosphate accumulating organisms were developed faster. The removal efficiencies were practically the same in both SBRs, being of 85% for COD, 95% for phosphorus and 30% for nitrogen. After granules formation the airflow in both reactors was reduced. For a SGV of 1.2 cm/s both systems behaved similarly. The minimum SGV required to maintain a uniform mixture of the biomass inside the reactor was 1.2 (R1) and 0.5 cm/s (R2), meaning less air consumption in the pulsed system (149 L/cycle) compared to the continuous one (179 L/min). Therefore, pulsed aeration successfully reduced granulation periods and aeration requirements in AGS systems.
Keywords: Aerobic granular sludge; Pulsed aeration; Phosphate accumulating organisms; Low-strength wastewater
Valenzuela-Heredia, D., Panatt, C.:, Belmonte, M., Franchi, O., Crutchik, D., Dumais, J., Vazquez-Padin, J. R., et al. (2022). Performance of a two-stage partial nitritation-anammox system treating the supernatant of a sludge anaerobic digester pretreated by a thermal hydrolysis process. Chem. Eng. J., 429, 131301.
Abstract: A two-stage system (partial nitritation (PN) and anammox processes) was used to remove nitrogen from the dewatering liquor originating from the thermal hydrolysis/anaerobic digestion (THP/AD) of municipal WWTP sludge. Two strategies were tested to start up the PN reactor: 1) maintaining a fixed hydraulic retention time (HRT) and increasing the ammonium loading rate (ALR) by decreasing the feeding dilution ratio and 2) feeding undiluted dewatering liquor and gradually decreasing the HRT. With diluted feeding, the reactor performance had destabilization episodes that were statistically correlated with the application of high specific ammonium (> 0.6 g NH4+-N/(g TSS.d)) and organic (> 0.7 g COD/(g TSS.d)) loading rates. The second strategy allowed stable PN reactor operation while treating ALR up to 4.8 g NH4+-N/(L.d) and demonstrating that dilution of THP/AD effluents is not required. The operating conditions promoted the presence of free nitrous acid levels (> 0.14 mg HNO2-N/L) inside the PN reactor that inhibited the proliferation of nitrite oxidizing bacteria.
Batch activity tests showed that the inhibitory effects of organic compounds present in the THP/AD dewatering liquor on the ammonia oxidizing bacteria activity can be removed in the PN reactor. Thus, aerobic pretreatment would not be necessary when two-stage systems are used. The PN reactor effluent was successfully treated by an anammox reactor.
An economic analysis showed that using two-stage systems is advantageous for treating THP/AD dewatering liquor. The implementation of an aerobic pre-treatment unit is recommended for WWTPs capacities higher than 5.10(5) inhabitants equivalent when one-stage systems are used.
Keywords: Ammonium oxidizing bacteria; Autotrophic nitrogen removal; Inhibition; NOB suppression; Operational stability; THP