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Open AccessArticle

Comparison of Biodegradation of Fats and Oils by Activated Sludge on Experimental and Real Scales

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Bío-Bío, Concepción, Avda. Collao 1202 Casilla 5-C, Z.C. 378000, Chile
2
Department of Basic Sciences, Science Faculty, University of Bío-Bío, Avda. Collao 1202 Casilla 5-C, Concepción, Región del Bío Bío, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(6), 1286; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061286
Received: 25 April 2019 / Revised: 2 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 20 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wastewater Treatment: Review, Key Challenges, and New Perspectives)
Fats and oils are the most common pollutants in wastewater, and are usually eliminated through physical processes in wastewater treatment plants, generating large amounts of fats and residual oils that are difficult to dispose of and handle. The degradation of fatty wastewater was studied in a real wastewater treatment plant and a laboratory scale treatment unit. The wastewater treatment plant, located in Chile, was designed for a population of 200,000 inhabitants. It includes an aerobic digester that receives fat and oils retained in a degreaser and treats the fats and oils together with biomass. The biodegradation of fats and oils was analyzed in both wastewater treatment systems. Key parameters were monitored such as the concentration of fats and oils in the influents and effluents, mass loading, and the efficiency of biodegradation. The mass loading range was similar in both wastewater treatment systems. In the experimental activated sludge plant, the biodegradation of fats and oils reached levels in the range of 64% to 75%. For the wastewater treatment plant with an aerobic digester, the levels of biodegradation of fats and oils ranged from 69% to 92%. Therefore, considering the efficiency of the elimination of fats and oils, the results indicated that physical treatment should be replaced with biological treatment so that the CO2 generated by the biodegradation will be incorporated into the carbon cycle and the mass of fats and oils in landfills will be reduced. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodegradation; fats and oils; activated sludge biodegradation; fats and oils; activated sludge
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Cisterna-Osorio, P.; Arancibia-Avila, P. Comparison of Biodegradation of Fats and Oils by Activated Sludge on Experimental and Real Scales. Water 2019, 11, 1286.

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