ACTIVATED SLUDGE PROCESS ACTIVATED SLUDGE  Activated sludge is a suspended-growth process  Consists essentially of an aerobic treatment that

oxidizes organic matter to CO2 and H2O, NH4 and new cell biomass  Air is provided by diffused or mechanical aeration  The microbial cells form flocs that are allowed to settle in a clarification tank. DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVATED SLUDGE PROCESS A. Conventional Activated Sludge Process Components 1. Aeration Tank  Carries out aerobic oxidation of organic matter  Primary effluent is introduced and mixed with return activated sludge (RAS) to form the mixed liquor  Mixed liquor contains 1,500 – 2,500 mg/L suspended solids  Sludge age is greater than the hydraulic retention time  Large number of microorganisms oxidizes organic compounds in a relatively short time.  Detention time = 4 to 8 hrs. 2. Sedimentation Tank  Used for the sedimentation of the microbial flocs (sludge)  Portion of the sludge is recycled back to aeration tank Parameters 1. Mixed-liquor suspended solids (MLSS)  Mixed liquor refers to the content of the aeration tank  MLSS is the total amount of organic and mineral suspended solids, including microorganisms, in the mixed liquor  Determined by filtering an aliquot of mixed liquor, drying the filter at 105oC, and determining the weight of solids in the sample. 2. Mixed-liquor volatile suspended solids (MLVSS)  MLVSS is composed of non-microbial organic matter as well as dead and live microorganism and cellular debris  Determined by following heating of dried filtered samples at 600 to 650oC,  MLVSS represents 65 – 75% of MLSS. 3. Food-to-microorganism ratio  Indicates the organic load into the activated sludge system  Expressed as kg BOD per kg MLSS per day

Q x BOD F / M = -----------------MLSS x V Where Q = flow rate of sewage in million liter per day BOD = 5 day biochemical oxygen demand, mg/L MLSS = mixed-liquor suspended solids V = volume of aeration tank, liters F/M = 0.2 – 0.5 gram BOD/gram MLSS (conventional) = 1.5 gram BOD/gram MLSS (high-purity oxygen) Low F/M ratio = microorganisms are starved; efficiency high 4. Hydraulic retention time  HRT = average time spent by influent liquid in the aeration tank  Reciprocal of dilution rate HRT = 1/D = V / Q Where V = volume of aeration tank Q = flow rate of influent wastewater into the aeration tank D = dilution rate 5. Sludge age  Mean residence time of microorganisms in the system, days  Reciprocal of microbial growth rate  MLSS x V Sludge age = ----------------------------SSe x Qe x SSw x Qw Where V = volume of aeration tank SSe = suspended solids in wastewater effluent (mg/L) Qe = quantity of wastewater effluent SSw = suspended solids in wastewater wasted sludge (mg/L) Qw = quantity of wasted sludge (m3/ day) Sludge age = 5 to 15 days

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