Upgrading the MBBR Process to Reduce Excess Sludge Production in Activated Sludge System Treating Sewage
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Pilot System Set-Up
2.2. Wastewater and Seed Sludge Characteristics
2.3. Pilot System Start-Up and Sampling Procedures
- On the first day, the pilot was supplied with 0.5 m3/day, representing 10% of the total process flow. The air blower was operated after initial influent feeding until DO levels reached 4 mg/L.
- On the second day, an additional 10% of the process flow was fed into the pilot MBBR to reach 1 m3/day discharge. The DO was maintained at 4.5 mg/L and 25% of the total volume was introduced as media.
- On the third day, another 20% of flowrate was introduced to become the amount of discharge within 2 m3/day, adding another 25% of media.
- On the fourth day, 20% of the mainstream were fed into the pilot to achieve 3 m3/day discharge. On this day, the heterotrophic seed was added to the first phase of the pilot, while the autotrophic seed was added to the second phase. The amount of seed per phase was 0.5 L.
- On the fifth day, 20% of the flow rate was introduced to reach 4 m3/day discharge, along with a 25% increase in media.
- On the sixth day, the influent was added to complete the total amount of media supplied for the design, along with 0.5 L of seed for each phase. Throughout the six days, DO concentrations were maintained between 4 and 5 mg/L.
2.4. Pilot System Operation Scenarios
- First Scenario:
- Operating the pilot with an (HRT) of 9 h and WAS of 100 L/d for 13 days.
- Operating the pilot with an HRT of 18 h and WAS of 100 L/d for 30 days.
- Operating the pilot with an HRT of 26 h and WAS of 100 L/d for 30 days.
- Second Scenario:
- Operating the pilot at a RAS flowrate of 50% with HRT of 6 h and complete sludge retention time (SRT) for a period of 30 days.
- Operating the pilot at a RAS flowrate of 50% with HRT of 12 h and complete sludge SRT for a period of 40 days.
- Operating the pilot at RAS flowrate of 100% with HRT of 14 h and complete sludge SRT for a period of 35 days.
- Operating the pilot at RAS flowrate of 150% with HRT of 14 h and complete sludge SRT for a period of 45 days.
- Operating the pilot at RAS flowrate of 150% with HRT of 20 h and complete sludge SRT for a period of 50 days.
3.1. MBBR System Start-Up Performance
3.2. Biofilm Formation during Start-Up Performance
3.3. Sludge Reduction in MBBR System (Scenario 1)
3.4. Sludge Elimination at IFAS System (Scenario 2)
3.5. System Operating Cost Reduction, Limitation and Advantages
- Completely eliminates sludge.
- No odor removal system required.
- System administration is very easy.
- It does not need large spaces.
- It does not require complex mechanical equipment.
|Unit||Full Scale MBBR System||This MBBR System|
|Gravity thickener and Aerobic digester||10 (USD $ per m3/day)||None|
|Excess sludge pump||6 (USD $ per m3/day)||None|
|Centrifuge and dosing polymer pump||30 (USD $ per m3/day)||None|
|Odor removal system||20 (USD $ per m3/day)||None|
|Electricity usage of sludge line (per year)||60 (USD $ per m3/day)||None|
|Maintenance of sludge line (per year)||80 (USD $ per m3/day)||None|
|Operation of sludge line (per year)||70 (USD $ per m3/day)||None|
|Environmental feasibility||Odor emission and insects gathering||No odor|
|Economic feasibility||High cost||Low cost|
|Technical feasibility||Large space needed||No space needed|
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Flow (Q)||5 m3/d|
|Surface area loading rate (SALR) for BOD removal||7.5 g/m2·d|
|Surface area loading rate (SALR) for NH4 removal||0.87 g/m2·d|
|Dissolved oxygen (DO)||4 mg/L|
|Carrier fill ratio||40%|
|Hydraulic Retention time (HRT) for BOD and NH4 removals||9 h|
|Specific surface area||500 m2/m3|
|Parameter||Inlet Concentration||Outlet Concentration|
|SRT (Day)||HRT (h)||WAS (m3/Day)||RAS (%)||Excess Sludge (g/Day)||Period (Days)||BOD (mg/L)||COD (mg/L)||TSS (mg/L)||NO3 (mg/L)||NH4 (mg/L)||Process|
|Scenario 1||Part 1||5||9||0.1||0||750||13||8||15||5||6||0.7||MBBR|
|Scenario 2||Part 1||Complete||6||0||50||0||30||40||85||80||16||0.3||IFAS|
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Khudhair, D.N.; Hosseinzadeh, M.; Zwain, H.M.; Siadatmousavi, S.M.; Majdi, A.; Mojiri, A. Upgrading the MBBR Process to Reduce Excess Sludge Production in Activated Sludge System Treating Sewage. Water 2023, 15, 408. https://doi.org/10.3390/w15030408
Khudhair DN, Hosseinzadeh M, Zwain HM, Siadatmousavi SM, Majdi A, Mojiri A. Upgrading the MBBR Process to Reduce Excess Sludge Production in Activated Sludge System Treating Sewage. Water. 2023; 15(3):408. https://doi.org/10.3390/w15030408Chicago/Turabian Style
Khudhair, Duaa Natheer, Majid Hosseinzadeh, Haider M. Zwain, Seyed Mostafa Siadatmousavi, Ali Majdi, and Amin Mojiri. 2023. "Upgrading the MBBR Process to Reduce Excess Sludge Production in Activated Sludge System Treating Sewage" Water 15, no. 3: 408. https://doi.org/10.3390/w15030408