The uncontrolled dumping of phosphorus into a water environment creates serious problems of eutrophication, affecting water quality and causing grave problems in the aquatic ecosystem. European legislation demands drastic reduction of phosphorus dissolved in wastewater. Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR) is the current tendency in wastewater treatment. This biological process depends on a multiplicity of variables, but its three main factors are: influent COD/P ratio, anaerobic fraction and sludge retention time (SRT). The aim of this work is to statistically determine the effect of these three parameters in EBPR through a response surface methodology. The objective function that has been chosen is phosphorus removed per unit biomass formed. This function provides ample information on BPR, since the quantity of phosphorus removed depends on the accumulative capacity of the microorganisms present. Two levels were chosen for the SRT (5 and 10 days), two for the anaerobic fraction (0.1 and 0.2), and six for levels of the influent COD/P ratio (between 16 and 87. The experiments were undertaken at pilot scale (100 litres) with an A2/O configuration, with simultaneous nitrogen and phosphorous removal. The wastewater used is a synthetic mixture of complex sources of carbon and nitrogen without volatile fatty acids. The empirical model obtained indicates that the factor most influencing the EBPR process is the influent COD/P ratio, whilst the anaerobic fraction is that which has least influence. Additionally, there is an optimum in the influent COD/P ratio that is to be found between 41 and 48. © 2001 Selper Limited. All rights reserved.
- Anaerobic fraction
- Cod/p ratio
- Enhanced biological phosphorus removal
- Sludge retention time