Peer review artikel

Full-scale highly-loaded wastewater treatment processes (a-stage) to increase energy production from wastewater, performance and design guidelines


“Current practice of wastewater treatment does not recover the full potential of energy present in wastewater. The potential of using anammox bacteria for autotrophic nitrogen removal combined with a desire for energy optimization brings new attention to the A-stage technology for organic carbon harvesting from municipal wastewater. The goal of this research was to investigate operational conditions of four full-scale A-stage processes and gain insight in the optimal conditions to harvest the maximum amount of organics present in sewage as excess sludge from the A stage. Large differences in removal efficiencies and design aspects were found between the four operational A-stage processes in the Netherlands. Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) removal efficiencies vary between 40% and 80%, indicating that a good removal efficiency is possible, but that local conditions or design can be very influential. An optimal solid retention time (SRT) for maximal sludge production of 0.3 days was found; a longer SRT resulted in more mineralization of the chemical oxygen demand (COD). SRT control might be an important design aspect for the optimization of A-stage process. A short contact time with a minimum of 15 min and sufficient aeration were found to be optimal for soluble COD removal. Iron addition aided the removal of colloidal/suspended COD by coagulation/flocculation. Sludge flocs formed in the A-stage process are weak and sensitive to anaerobic conditions as well as shear due to, for example, pumping. Besides a good design of the A-stage itself, the further processing of the produced sludge also needs careful attention to optimize the sludge production and energy production.”

(Citaat: de Graaff, M.S., Brand, T.P.H. van den, et al. Full-scall highly-loaded wastewater treatment processes (A-stage) to increase energy production from wastewater – Environmental Engineering Science 33(2016)8, p.571-577)

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