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Continuous aerobic granular sludge plants : better settling versus diffusion limitation

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Abstract
The application of aerobic granular sludge in continuous wastewater treatment plants is receiving increased attention. The introduction of better settling sludge in existing installations is expected to increase the plant's treatment capacity by allowing a higher biomass concentration in the reactor. A lot of recent research has therefore focused on how to get stable granules in a continuous flow plant, which make up the majority of current infrastructure. Still, the effect of aerobic granular sludge on the treatment capacity and energy requirements has not thoroughly been studied so far and is not that straightforward. While it is clear that the introduction of aerobic granular sludge will result in better settling, it will also bring about a higher diffusion limitation - which is often overlooked. This study scrutinized the effect of better settling versus diffusion limitation in a typical continuous activated sludge plant (predenitrification type) through a simulation study. When only considering the improved settling velocity, the treatment capacity increased by 40% compared to conventional activated sludge. However, diffusion limitation could almost totally counteract the positive effect of better settling for a non-improved continuous system. The continuous system could be improved for aerobic granular sludge by increasing the aerobic reactor volume fraction, while lowering the oxygen set-point to benefit from simultaneous nitrification-denitrification. The optimization led to a 20% improvement in treatment capacity and a 10% reduced energy consumption compared to a conventional activated sludge system. Overall, the performance of continuous wastewater treatment plants could indeed benefit from the excellent settling properties of aerobic granular sludge, as long as process operation was improved in order to take into account diffusion limitation.
Keywords
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, General Chemical Engineering, Environmental Chemistry, General Chemistry, Aerobic granular sludge (AGS), Continuous flow plant, Treatment capacity, Better settling, Diffusion limitation, Wastewater treatment, CONTINUOUS-FLOW BIOREACTOR, MUNICIPAL WASTE-WATER, PHOSPHORUS REMOVAL, OXIDATION DITCH, SIMULATION, MODEL, REACTOR, OXYGEN, BIOFILM, IMPACT

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MLA
Strubbe, Laurence, et al. “Continuous Aerobic Granular Sludge Plants : Better Settling versus Diffusion Limitation.” CHEMICAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL, vol. 428, 2022, doi:10.1016/j.cej.2021.131427.
APA
Strubbe, L., Pennewaerde, M., Baeten, J., & Volcke, E. (2022). Continuous aerobic granular sludge plants : better settling versus diffusion limitation. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL, 428. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2021.131427
Chicago author-date
Strubbe, Laurence, Margot Pennewaerde, Janis Baeten, and Eveline Volcke. 2022. “Continuous Aerobic Granular Sludge Plants : Better Settling versus Diffusion Limitation.” CHEMICAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL 428. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2021.131427.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Strubbe, Laurence, Margot Pennewaerde, Janis Baeten, and Eveline Volcke. 2022. “Continuous Aerobic Granular Sludge Plants : Better Settling versus Diffusion Limitation.” CHEMICAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL 428. doi:10.1016/j.cej.2021.131427.
Vancouver
1.
Strubbe L, Pennewaerde M, Baeten J, Volcke E. Continuous aerobic granular sludge plants : better settling versus diffusion limitation. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL. 2022;428.
IEEE
[1]
L. Strubbe, M. Pennewaerde, J. Baeten, and E. Volcke, “Continuous aerobic granular sludge plants : better settling versus diffusion limitation,” CHEMICAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL, vol. 428, 2022.
@article{8719349,
  abstract     = {{The application of aerobic granular sludge in continuous wastewater treatment plants is receiving increased attention. The introduction of better settling sludge in existing installations is expected to increase the plant's treatment capacity by allowing a higher biomass concentration in the reactor. A lot of recent research has therefore focused on how to get stable granules in a continuous flow plant, which make up the majority of current infrastructure. Still, the effect of aerobic granular sludge on the treatment capacity and energy requirements has not thoroughly been studied so far and is not that straightforward. While it is clear that the introduction of aerobic granular sludge will result in better settling, it will also bring about a higher diffusion limitation - which is often overlooked. This study scrutinized the effect of better settling versus diffusion limitation in a typical continuous activated sludge plant (predenitrification type) through a simulation study. When only considering the improved settling velocity, the treatment capacity increased by 40% compared to conventional activated sludge. However, diffusion limitation could almost totally counteract the positive effect of better settling for a non-improved continuous system. The continuous system could be improved for aerobic granular sludge by increasing the aerobic reactor volume fraction, while lowering the oxygen set-point to benefit from simultaneous nitrification-denitrification. The optimization led to a 20% improvement in treatment capacity and a 10% reduced energy consumption compared to a conventional activated sludge system. Overall, the performance of continuous wastewater treatment plants could indeed benefit from the excellent settling properties of aerobic granular sludge, as long as process operation was improved in order to take into account diffusion limitation.}},
  articleno    = {{131427}},
  author       = {{Strubbe, Laurence and Pennewaerde, Margot and Baeten, Janis and Volcke, Eveline}},
  issn         = {{1385-8947}},
  journal      = {{CHEMICAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL}},
  keywords     = {{Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering,General Chemical Engineering,Environmental Chemistry,General Chemistry,Aerobic granular sludge (AGS),Continuous flow plant,Treatment capacity,Better settling,Diffusion limitation,Wastewater treatment,CONTINUOUS-FLOW BIOREACTOR,MUNICIPAL WASTE-WATER,PHOSPHORUS REMOVAL,OXIDATION DITCH,SIMULATION,MODEL,REACTOR,OXYGEN,BIOFILM,IMPACT}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{10}},
  title        = {{Continuous aerobic granular sludge plants : better settling versus diffusion limitation}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2021.131427}},
  volume       = {{428}},
  year         = {{2022}},
}

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