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Water 2010, 2(2), 155-169; doi:10.3390/w2020155
Article

Comparison of Three Systems for Biological Greywater Treatment

1,2,* , 1,2, 2 and 1,2
1 Wetsus, Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology, P.O. Box 1113, 8900CC, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands 2 Sub-department Environmental Technology, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 8129, 6700EV Wageningen, The Netherlands
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 February 2010 / Revised: 14 April 2010 / Accepted: 15 April 2010 / Published: 22 April 2010
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Abstract

Greywater consists of household wastewater excluding toilet discharges. Three systems were compared for the biological treatment of greywater at a similar hydraulic retention time of approximately 12–13 hours. These systems were aerobic treatment in a sequencing batch reactor, anaerobic treatment in an up-flow anaerobic blanket reactor and combined anaerobic-aerobic treatment (up-flow anaerobic blanket reactor + sequencing batch reactor). Aerobic conditions resulted in a COD removal of 90%, which was significantly higher than 51% removal by anaerobic treatment. The low removal in the anaerobic reactor may have been caused by high concentration of anionic surfactants in the influent (43.5 mg/L) and a poor removal of the colloidal fraction of the COD in up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors. Combined aerobic-anaerobic treatment accomplished a COD removal of 89%, similar to the aerobic treatment alone. Greywater methanization was 32% for the anaerobic system and 25% for the anaerobic-aerobic system, yielding a small amount of energy. Therefore, anaerobic pre-treatment is not feasible and an aerobic system is preferred for the treatment of greywater.
Keywords: aerobic treatment; anaerobic treatment; greywater; surfactants; sludge yield aerobic treatment; anaerobic treatment; greywater; surfactants; sludge yield
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Hernández Leal, L.; Temmink, H.; Zeeman, G.; Buisman, C.J.N. Comparison of Three Systems for Biological Greywater Treatment. Water 2010, 2, 155-169.

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