Title

Investigating Organic Nitrogen Production in Activated Sludge Process: Size Fraction and Biodegradability

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-6-2021

Publication Title

Science of the Total Environment

Volume

773

First page number:

1

Last page number:

8

Abstract

© 2021 Elsevier B.V. The effect of sludge retention time (SRT) on the production of organic nitrogen (ON) fractions (particulate, colloidal and soluble) and the biodegradability of produced soluble ON in an activated sludge process was investigated. Synthetic wastewater with no ON was fed to the four laboratory-scale reactors operated at SRTs of 2, 5, 10 and 20 d, respectively. Effluent ON from each reactor was fractionated into particulate, colloidal, and soluble ON (pON, cON, and sON). The effluent total ON contained 5.7 to 11.9 mg/L pON, 3.6 to 3.8 mg/L cON, and 2.3 to 4.6 mg/L sON. cON fraction can be larger than sON fraction in the secondary effluent. Therefore, besides focusing on sON, water resource recovery facilities aiming to meet stricter effluent TN limits should also identify appropriate technologies to target cON. More than 50% of effluent sON was biodegradable under SRTs of 2, 5, and 10 d but the biodegradability decreased to 31% at 20-d SRT. Large fractions of non-biodegradable sON (69%) at SRT of 20-d could be contributed by extracellular polymeric substances and soluble microbial products, specifically biomass associated products due to endogenous respiration. Thus, sON generated at long SRTs may take longer to decompose in receiving waters.

Keywords

Biodegradability; Colloidal; Particulate; Soluble organic nitrogen (sON); SRT

Disciplines

Environmental Sciences

Language

English

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