Case Study 2: Anaerobic wastewater treatment Dragoș Petruțiu Lecturer: Tim Hendrickx
A waste water treatment plant receives the wastewater from the municipality – 30 000 m3/d and from an industrial site – 1500 m3/d. The composition of the wastewaters is shown in the table 1. The current treatment for the combined wastewaters is a pre-denitrification process combined with chemical phosphorus removal. As the engineer of this wastewater treatment plant, you are asked to investigate the possibility of treating the industrial wastewater separately in an anaerobic reactor. The municipal wastewater will still be treated in the current process. Table 1 – Wastewater characteristics Domestic 3 Flow m /d 30 000 COD mg/l = g/m3 521 Total N mg/l = g/m3 48 Total P mg/l = g/m3 7 Temperature °C 15
Industrial 1500 3750 154 6 32
a) Calculate the composition (COD, N and P concentrations) of the combined waste waters. Does the industrial wastewater contribute for a large part to the total COD, N and P load on the current wastewater treatment process? The calculations are done in the attached Excel file. Table 2 and 3 summarizes the results and presents an overview on the industrial wastewater contribution to the total concentration Table 2 – Total wastewater concentrations Total COD kg/m3 0.675 Total N kg/m3 0.053 Total P kg/m3 0.007 Table 3 – Contribution of wastewater stream Loading contribution of: Municipal Industrial Total COD 73.5 % 26.5 % Total N 86.2 % 13.8 % Total P 95.9 % 4.1 %
Analysis of the industrial wastewater reveals that the COD consists of alcohols and volatile fatty acids. This makes the wastewater suitable for treatment in high rate anaerobic reactor. You decide to investigate the possibility of a UASB reactor. b) Select and appropriate volumetric loading rate and calculate the expected size of the UASB As we will use the UASB reactor only for the industrial wastewater stream we choose the VLR from Table T10-11 from Metcalf & Eddy using the following steps: COD = 3750 g/l is in the 2000-6000 g/l range Fraction as particulate COD = 0.1-0.3 – because we have alcohols and VFAs in the wastewater
As we have COD nearly 100% soluble we choose an up-flow velocity of 1.
. Calculate the required amount of nutrients for sludge growth. we can calculate the diameter and the height of the reactor. With this.VR
c) What will be the dimensions of the anaerobic reactor? Assume and additional water column of 2 meters above the sludge bed.1781 kg TSS/m3 – biomass production For the ratio of 1 g COD / 1g TSS --> 0.05 g biomass-COD/g COD converted.75 kg COD/m3 = 3.05 * 3.1781 kg COD/m3 excess sludge production Using two empirical relations we can calculate the needed amount of nutrients – N & P – for the biomass to grow.05 we get: 0.5625 kg COD/m3 = 0.95 * 3.3 m/s. Assume an overall yield of 0.5625 kg COD/m3 consumed by the microorganisms With a yield of 0. Are there sufficient nutrients present in the industrial wastewater? Having a 95% conversion of COD means: 0.
Adding the 2 m water column on top of the height needed for the sludge blanket we get:
d) The expected COD conversion is 95%.-
Choose granular sludge with little TSS removal – we do not have many particles in the WW The VLR should be in the range of 12-18 kg COD/m3*day Choose VLR=17 kg COD/m3*day 
By choosing a VLR we can now calculate the hydraulic retention time – HRT and than the reactor volume .
From the available 95% of the COD we subtract the amount need by the bacteria.1389 0.0151 Phosphorus kg/m3 0. Table 4 – UASB effluent characteristics Calculation COD kg/m3 3.75 – 3.1875 0.006 – 0.5652 3 Nitrogen kg/m 0.
As we know the flow of the wastewater we can calculate the amount of methane that can be generated every day:
What will be the expected effluent composition (COD and nutrients) from the anaerobic reactor? (neglect biomass in the effluent)
The effluent concentrations are shown in table 4.0022
.Comparing these values with the influent concentrations we get:
e) What will be the expected biogas production in m3 CH4/day? First we need to find how much COD is available for methane production.0038
Result 0.154 – 0.
6 years is reasonably good and we would recommend the investment into building a new reactor in the existing plant.
.g) Is separate treatment financially attractive when looking only at the cost of building an anaerobic reactor (assume 500 eur/m3 reactor) and the potential revenue from electricity (assume an income of 0. we can calculate the mass of methane generated per day and than calculate the energy output per day.05 eur/kWh) generated from the biogas in a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit? Which other costs/incomes should be included for a detailed economic evaluation? First we need to calculate the cost of the reactor:
Knowing the density of methane.5 MJ/kg 
Converting the MJ into kWh we get:
For heat engines the efficiency of converting fuel into electrical energy is around 25-38% . Using a η=35% efficiency we get the amount of electrical energy that we can get per day:
The value of the electricity is:
The payback time can be easily calculated:
A payback time of 1. There are some other costs associated with the UASB reactor: Maintenance of the turbines Pumping costs as you need to pump as high as 9 m Salary for the extra personnel Sludge disposal – can be coupled with the existing sludge disposal system. The caloric heat of methane is 55.
Impact of Combined Heat and Power on Energy Use and Carbon Emissions in the Dry Mill Ethanol Process.007
The only concentration that presents a high decrease is the one of COD. ed. Forth Edition ed.-D.N.675 0.Treatment and Reuse .. US Environmental Protection Agency. WolframAlpha. Table 5 contains the new influent values and the ones for the previous situation. influencing the aerobic treatment.com. 2. Metcalf & Eddy.5051 Total N kg COD/m3 0. Wastewater Engineering. 2007. N.com.
References: 1.053 0. 3. What would be the main concern for the treatment plant? In order to calculate the new mix concentration (UASB effluent + municipal) we follow the same procedure as we use for calculating the mix of industrial & municipal wastewater. The concern for the existing wastewater treatment plant will be that now it has to work than at under-capacity which will mean lower sludge retention time and cleaner effluent.
h) The effluent of the anaerobic reactor will be discharged to the (aerobic) wastewater treatment plant. The 25% decrease translates into a lower loading rate for the aerobic treatment. Available from: http://wolframalpha.
. In this case. before methanogenesis – still under research. McGrawHill. Calculate the composition of the new combined waste stream (domestic + UASB effluent). Table 5 – Influent concentration overview with the new system Unit UASB + municipal 3 COD kg COD/m 0. the UASB effluent concentrations are smaller than the ones of the industrial wastewater.Some possible other income sources that can be identified are: Selling the heat to nearby houses – as hot water Extraction of polymers from the intermediate steps of the anaerobic treatment.International Edition.0068
Industrial + municipal 0. 2004.0523 3 Total P kg COD/m 0.