Living on the edge: Prospects for enhanced biological phosphorus removal at low sludge retention time under different temperature scenarios

Carlos Chan, Albert Guisasola*, Juan Antonio Baeza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The design of new wastewater treatment plants with the aim of capturing organic matter for energy recovery is a current focus of research. Operating with low sludge residence time (SRT) appears to be a key factor in maximizing organic matter recovery. In these new configurations, it is assumed that phosphorus is chemically removed in a tertiary step, but the integration of enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) into these short-SRT systems seems to be an alternative worth studying. A key point of this integration is to prevent the washout of polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAO) despite the low SRT applied. However, the minimum SRT required to avoid PAO washout depends on temperature, due to its effects on reaction kinetics, gas transfer rates, biomass growth and decay rates. This work includes a wide range of short and long-term experiments to understand these interactions and shows which combinations of SRT and temperature are detrimental to PAO growth. For example, an EBPR system operating at 20 °C and SRT = 5 d showed good performance, but EBPR activity was lost at 10 °C. EBPR operated at SRT = 10 d had 86% P removal at 20 °C but decreased to 71% at 15 °C and progressively lost its activity at lower temperature. The temperature coefficient obtained for PAO show a low degree of temperature dependence (θ = 1.047 ± 0.014), and should be considered when designing short-SRT systems with EBPR.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number127230
JournalChemosphere
Volume258
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • A-stage
  • EBPR
  • High rate activated sludge (HRAS)
  • Sludge retention time (SRT)
  • Temperature

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