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The affect of anaerobic volume reduction on the University of Cape Town (UCT) biological phosphorus removal process

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Title: The affect of anaerobic volume reduction on the University of Cape Town (UCT) biological phosphorus removal process
Author: Lee, N. P. (Nelson Paul)
Degree Master of Applied Science - MASc
Program Civil Engineering
Copyright Date: 1990
Subject Keywords Sewage -- Purification -- Biological treatment; Sewage -- Purification -- Phosphorus removal
Abstract: The objective of this research was to optimize the bio-P process as applied to a weak sewage with respect to HRT in each of the process zones. This goal was to be achieved by changing the HRT of the various zones with all other operating characteristics being held constant. The experimental work during this study involved two initially identical process trains operated in the University of Cape Town (UCT) mode. The aerobic zones of both trains were divided into four equal sized complete-mix cells to allow observations of phosphate uptake and poly-β-hydroxyalkanoate (PHA) consumption under aerobic conditions. After steady-state was established, the anaerobic HRT was reduced to 50% of the original value in the experimental module by reducing the anaerobic reactor volume. At the same time, the mixed liquor of both trains was drained, mixed and reapportioned to the two processes, thereby assuring equivalent starting conditions. Results of this study showed that both processes performed identically prior to the anaerobic HRT change. After the anaerobic HRT change, there was a forty day period where P removal and effluent P were the same in both process trains. This was so, even though the anaerobic P release was considerably less in the experimental module. Subsequently, a change in influent sewage type corresponded to a change in P removal and effluent P in the two process trains. An examination of the process parameters showed that the anoxic zone of the experimental module, after the anaerobic HRT change and the sewage change, consistently removed less P or released more P than in the control module. As a result, the control module out-performed the experimental module. Batch tests and tests to better characterize the influent sewage were then conducted in an attempt to determine the reasons for the different P removal characteristics. Under the test conditions, it appeared that the original anaerobic HRT was excessive. This was preferable to an insufficient anaerobic HRT, such as in the experimental module, however. The anoxic zone may have been too large, too small or just right for optimum P removal depending on the influent sewage characteristics. Optimizing the bio-P process by reducing the aerobic zone HRT appeared to have the greatest potential.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/29631
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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