Chemical Engineering Journal 225 (2013) 673–678

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Chemical Engineering Journal
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Modification of oxygen transfer rates in activated sludge with its characteristic changes by the addition of organic polyelectrolyte
Tadashi Nittami ⇑, Takashi Katoh, Kanji Matsumoto
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Yokohama National University, 79-5 Tokiwadai, Hodogaya-ku, Yokohama 240-8501, Japan

h i g h l i g h t s 
This study focused on the O2 transfer (kLa) modification of activated sludge (AS).  The kLa decreased exponentially with increases in the AS apparent viscosity (lap).  If the flocculation improved the kLa of AS depended on if it reduced the  Such changes in

lap value. lap depend large on the volume fraction of AS suspended solids. 

The volume fraction was measured as SVI, particle size and respiration rate.

a r t i c l e

i n f o

a b s t r a c t
The present study focused on the influence of the apparent viscosity of activated sludge on mixed liquor oxygen transfer rates, and examined whether both could be modified by the addition of an organic polyelectrolyte. Batch experiments carried out using mixed liquor samples in a stirred tank reactor revealed that a-factors, which incorporate any difference in oxygen mass transfer coefficient values between clean water and mixed liquor samples, showed exponential relationships when plotted against increases in mixed liquor apparent viscosities and sludge mixed liquid suspended solids values. Furthermore, oxygen mass transfer coefficients increased exponentially with increases in the Reynolds number, a parameter which reflects liquid turbulence levels. Oxygen mass transfer rates of five sludge samples collected from four full scale wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) also increased by about 10% after flocculation, while with a sludge sample collected from the lab scale reactor, it decreased by about 5%. One likely explanation is that the apparent viscosities of the WWTPs and the lab-reactor sludges decreased and increased respectively after flocculation. Such changes probably reflect changes in the volume fraction of mixed liquor suspended solids as indicated by changes in sludge volume indices, particle size values and endogenous respiration rates before and after flocculation. These findings assist in developing an understanding of how oxygen mass transfer characteristics may be affected by activated sludge suspensions, and hence assist in reducing the operational costs of WWTPs. Ó 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Article history: Received 12 December 2012 Received in revised form 19 March 2013 Accepted 4 April 2013 Available online 15 April 2013 Keywords: Activated sludge a-Factor Flocculation Floc volume Oxygen transfer Viscosity

1. Introduction Membrane bioreactors (MBRs) have been used increasingly in wastewater treatment to minimize the solid phase–liquid phase separation problems often encountered in conventional activated sludge (CAS) clarifiers [1]. MBR systems also have the advantage of operating at high mixed liquid suspended solids (MLSSs) concentrations, generating a reduced excess sludge production, and allowing reuse of the treated water [2]. However, biological aeration requirements in MBR are higher than in CAS because of the lower oxygen mass transfer rates achievable with their higher MLSS concentration. The main power requirement comes from
⇑ Corresponding author. Tel./fax: +81 45 339 4006.
E-mail address: nittami@ynu.ac.jp (T. Nittami). 1385-8947/$ - see front matter Ó 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2013.04.012

the aeration system used to maintain high dissolved oxygen (DO) levels and keep the solids in suspension [3–6]. Several studies have investigated the correlation between oxygen transfer rates and MLSS levels in activated sludge systems, where an increase in MLSS has resulted in a corresponding linear or exponential decreases in the oxygen mass transfer coefficient (kLa) and a-factor [4,5,7–10]. The a-factor is necessary as a correction factor, which incorporates any difference in kLa values between clean water and mixed liquor samples. However, large variations in the kLa and a-factor values at a single MLSS concentration have been reported, suggesting MLSS concentration is not the most suitable parameter for correlating kLa and a-factors. Besides, any increase in apparent viscosity (lap) seems to result in an exponential decrease in the a-factor, irrespective of the origins of the sludge used in these studies [9,11].

5. as described in Section 2. Eq.3 1. but by decreasing lap. where activated sludge samples were collected. MLSS. C Ã L is the saturation DO concentration. TOKYO RIKAKIKAI. The pH and temperature meter (HM-21P with GST-2729C probe. Thus the aim of this study was to understand better the possible correlation between oxygen transfer rates. c Anaerobic/nitrification/endogenous denitrification process.1 2. 2011). The distance between each impeller was 160 mm and the turbine impeller was located 20 mm from the vessel base. Any effects of organic polyelectrolyte addition on oxygen mass transfer rates and activated sludge lap. / Chemical Engineering Journal 225 (2013) 673–678 Addition of organic polyelectrolytes to act as filter aids or membrane antifouling agents in MBRs has been reported [12–20]. Table 1 shows the operational details of these WWTPs and the lab scale (30 L) reactor. When sludge samples were transferred to the stirred tank reactor. 2010–Mar. mean particle size. Plant WWTP A WWTP A WWTP B WWTP C WWTP D Lab reactor a Process Conventionala A2Ob AOAOc Conventional Conventional Aerobic batch MLSSd (g LÀ1) 2. Oxygen transfer coefficient and a-factor determinations The kLa in activated sludge was determined by the dynamic method [21]. particle size distribution. particle size. Japan) 50 mm in diam. d Annual average values in 2010 (Apr. aeration was restarted. MLSS levels and lap of activated sludge and to see if it is possible to improve oxygen transfer rates by modifying activated sludge characteristics by the addition of organic polyelectrolytes. it may then be possible to increase the latter. Schematic diagram of the stirred tank system used in this study. for each. 1.1 MPa for most air flow rates. Firstly. while the paddle impeller diameter was 80 mm and 15 mm wide. The glass column reactor (155 mm of internal diameter (ID) and 270 mm in height) had an effective working volume of 4 L (155 mm ID and 212 mm in height).4 6.20]. and x is MLSS concentration. The diameter of the turbine impeller was 65 mm and its width was 15 mm.2. not by decreasing MLSS concentrations. 1. 2 min) and concentrated up to a 20 g LÀ1 MLSS level before being diluted to the required concentration using the supernatant of centrifuged mixed liquor as diluent. Japan) during measurement. and was located centrally at the vessel base. the increasing DO concentration was measured over time and the kLa calculated. A pressure regulator was used to maintain the inlet air pressure at 0. Nittami et al. As soon as the DO concentration reached equilibrium. 1. b Anaerobic/Anoxic/Aerobic process. Each activated sludge sample was centrifuged (3000 rpm (1650 g). while lap was determined for each supernatant. agitation (240 rpm) and aeration (1 L minÀ1) were then started. a four-blade paddle impeller with 45° pitch (upper side). and four baffles.1. Tokyo. TOA-DKK. The baffles were 270 mm high and 10 mm wide. Diffuser 2. Before the DO had fallen below its critical concentration. In addition any possible impact of the sludge rheological properties on oxygen transfer rates was investigated by calculating the dimensionless Reynolds number. Japan) were operated on line. DKKTOA. The input air flow rate was set manually at 1 L minÀ1 by a mass flow meter (Kofloc. Tokyo. aeration was stopped. Tokyo.1 °C maintained with recirculating chiller (CTP-1000.0 SVId (ml gÀ1) 240 250 260 240 340 47.   1 dC L þ OURen x þ C Ã L kL a dt ð2Þ The kLa was determined from the slope of the straight line obtained from a plot of CL against dCL/dt + OURen x. 2.0 SRTd (day) 14 12 14 11 12 1e dC L ¼ kL aðC Ã L À C L Þ À OURen x dt ð1Þ where CL is measured DO concentration. and endogenous oxygen uptake rates (OURen) (mgO2 g-MLSSÀ1 hÀ1) were measured. e No excess sludge had been withdrawn.0 2. (1) can be rearranged to the following equation: CL ¼ À Conventional activated sludge process operated with gentle aeration in the first few tanks. lap and density were determined for all these sludge samples.674 T. Kyoto. Furthermore.2 2. Each OURen was calculated from the linear rate of decrease of the dissolved oxygen concentration above the value at which the rate of oxygen utilization became dependent on DO (critical DO concentration) [22]. Activated sludge samples and experimental set-up Six activated sludge samples were collected from four municipal WWTPs and a lab scale reactor.20]. an indication of turbulence. A sparger (ceramic air stone NR-D60. If their addition can decrease both the lap and oxygen transfer rates as suggested by others [15. SVI. IWAKI. colloidal and solid fractions [15]. pH and endogenous respiration rates were also examined. Japan). All experiments were performed in a water bath at 20 ± 0. The a-factor was calculated by dividing the mixed liquor kLa by the kLa of tap water used as control as in the following equation: . sludge volume index (SVI). All activated sludge samples were transferred to a stirred tank reactor right after the samples were obtained and the configuration of the reactor is shown in Fig. was 14 mm thick with a mean pore size of 80 lm. Adding flocculants to activated sludge system is considered to modify mixed liquor properties by inducing complex changes among the soluble. Driving shaft 4-blade addle Baffle Mass flow meter N 2 gas Air 270 mm 212 mm DO meter pH meter 6-blade turbine 50 mm 155 mm Fig. Materials and methods 2. It was equipped with a six-blade Rushton turbine impeller (bottom side). Tokyo. some organic polyelectrolytes have been reported to increase oxygen transfer rates in activated sludge [15. as indicated in Fig. Japan) and the dissolved oxygen (DO) meter (DO-24P with OE-270AA galvanic probe. The mass transfer balance is given by the following equation: Table 1 Summary of each WWTP and lab scale reactor. oxygen transfer rates in samples collected from several wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) were measured in a stirred tank reactor and the relationship between these and the corresponding values of MLSS and lap were determined.

Effect of adding flocculant on oxygen transfer coefficient determinations The kLa values before and after flocculation of each activated sludge sample (Table 1) were determined as described in Section 2.1. Nr. The shear rates were calculated according to the following equation: 1. 2. as shown in Fig. The a-factor was compared with the MLSS concentrations ranging from 5 to 20 g LÀ1.3. Analytical methods The MLSS and SVI were measured according to standard methods [23]. 1995 Rosenberger. since all the experiments discussed here were conducted using the same aeration device. However. and apparent viscosity (Pa s). Plots of decrease in a-factor values with increase of MLSS.. These outcomes suggest that the oxygen transfer rate coefficient was affected not only by the aeration device but also by the characteristics of the activated sludge. Agitation Reynolds number (Re) measurement The agitation Re which measures the rheological properties of the mixed liquor was calculated according to the following equation: Re ¼ D2 I Nq lap ð 4Þ where DI. Relationship between oxygen transfer rates and activated sludge sample characteristics 2. 2003 Stephenson et al. Toki Sangyo. The baffles in the reactor were removed and agitation (180 rpm) was then restarted upon addition of 500 ml (1% of MLSS) of the cationic dimethylaminoethyl acrylate polyelectrolyte solution (ICM4204NG2. and lap are the diameter of impeller (m). 2. and the lap of sludge suspension was measured at the shear rate of 7.5 sÀ1 (rotor no. rotation rate of impeller (sÀ1). 1) or 17.1 °C.) WWTP A (A2O) WWTP B WWTP C Lab reactor 0. Tokyo. a slower agitation rate was imposed (50 rpm. q. their a-factors were very close at similar MLSS values (around 5 and 10 g LÀ1).1. Japan) at a fixed rotating speed (20 rpm) and Ostwald viscometer. 2001 Muller et al. and radius of cylinder (m). which would generate different energy dissipation rates and shear stresses [4]. linear or exponential decreases) have been noted in other studies [4. Japan). 2.1 sÀ1 (rotor no. Here the a-factor of three sludge samples (WWTP A (Conv). Ishigaki maintenance. respectively. radius of rotor (m). MLSS vs a-factor The kLa of tap control sample was estimated in duplicate. 2007 0.6 at 20 g LÀ1 of MLSS concentration. Activated sludge samples were incubated with agitation in a water bath at 20 ± 0. 2) .e. Tokyo. 5 min). Japan). This trend was also seen with the other WWTP sludge samples. 3 min) was examined with an Ostwald viscometer in a water bath at 20 ± 0. After a rapid agitation period (180 rpm. 2003 Muller et al. Nittami et al. . Particle size distributions and mean particle sizes were measured with a laser diffraction/scattering particle size distribution analyzer LMS-24 (Seishin enterprise.T. 1995 Gunder. those for the lab scale reactor and WWTP C sludges were markedly different. 3.4 WWTP A (Conv. and its a-factor was close to 0. The mean value (0. Rb. Two of the activated sludge samples from WWTP B indicated by arrows were again analyzed after three months to check the reproducibility of the oxygen mass transfer measurements..2.594) was then used for the calculation of the a-factor. and Rc are the share rate (sÀ1). The kLa in flocculated activated sludge was then measured as before. / Chemical Engineering Journal 225 (2013) 673–678 675 a¼ kL amixed liquor kL atap water ð 3Þ 3. 0 and 1. although the lab reactor sludge showed a moderate a-factor decrease as MLSS concentrations increased. The lap of concentrated sludge suspensions and their supernatants were measured in triplicate using a rotary viscometer (TVC-7 with rotors nos. An increase in MLSS over a 5–20 mgLÀ1 range resulted in either a linear or exponential decrease in the a-factor for all the examined activated sludge samples.9–11]. Agitation in the reactor was stopped and then 500 ml of supernatant was removed. these were undertaken in tanks of different geometries using a range of different aeration devices. the WWTP C sample value decreased sharply as MLSS concentrations increased and decreased to close to zero at 20 g LÀ1 of MLSS concentration. Viscosity of a 15 ml aliquot of the supernatant obtained after centrifugation (3000 rpm (1650 g). L-1] Fig. The figure shows the data obtained in this present study and those from previous studies. and WWTP B) showed almost identical trends.2 c¼ 0:209Nr  2 b 1À R Rc ð 5Þ 0 0 5 10 15 20 25 MLSS [g where c. Such relationships between MLSS concentration and the a-factor (i.5. Results and discussion 3. The fall in oxygen transfer rates as MLSS concentration increased differed with each sludge sample.1.5. The polyelectrolyte was dissolved in milliQ water with agitation for 24 h and the stock solution was prepared to 500 mg LÀ1.6 0. 15 min). fluid density (kg mÀ3)..4.8 α -factor [-] 0. However. Although both had a very similar a-factor value (approx 0. rotation rate of rotor (rpm). 0) for 30 s when agitation was stopped. Tokyo. All mixed liquor samples were diluted to 10 g LÀ1 MLSS level when the kLa was determined before adding flocculant. WWTP A (A2O).8) at 5 g LÀ1 of MLSS concentration.2 1 Krampe and Krauth.1 °C. When two of the activated sludge samples from WWTP B were again analyzed after three months (Fig. N. 2. suggesting a high reproducibility of the oxygen transfer measurements in this study.

) WWTP A (A2O) WWTP B WWTP C Lab reactor Tap water α -factor [-] 0. Günder [11]. 3. kLa value of the activated sludge was compared before and after addition of the cationic flocculant dimethylaminoethyl acrylate polyelectrolytes (Table 3). 46. Furthermore. Fig. 3 shows the relationships between lap at a shear rate of 7. a ¼ lÀ by Günder [11]. (6) seems appropriate for predicting oxygen mass transfer coefficients in the stirred tank reactor. Krampe and Krauth [9].1.2 0. 23.2. 9.1 sÀ1. 6. the relationship between agitation Re and kLa was explored by increasing the rotation rate of the impeller (N) in the stirred tank from 50 minÀ1 to 240 minÀ1. Influence of adding organic polyelectrolytes on activated sludge characteristics and oxygen transfer rates Based on previously reported data. In Fig.4 0. 10.1. 9.1 1 WWTP A (Conv. R² = 0.8 Tap water. Fig. 2 are not represented in Fig. 40 sÀ1 and Rosenberger et al.2. 3. Activated sludge WWTP A (Conv. Thus. Nittami et al. WWTP R² = 0. [24] have all reported a correlation between a-factor and lap. 12.e. a ¼ lÀ by Krampe and Krauth ap ap 0:384 [9]) to that found here (a ¼ 2:11lÀ ).887 0.416 kL a ¼ 0:0207Re 0:416 ð 6Þ kLa [min-1] The relationship between the calculated (Eq. 20 g L-1 WWTP A (Conv. and 22 3. and the relationship between them (shown with a black line) was determined from the following: 1 0.).4 0. the relationships between them followed a similar exponential curve 0:45 0:456 (i.3 0. and MLSS in series.e. Each lap represents the mean value of three measurements. .1 mPa s. 2. (6)) and measured kLa values is shown in Fig.954 50 ap 100 150 200 [mPa s] Fig.2. 5 shows the relationship between kLa and Re calculated from Eq.7 WWTP A (A2O) WWTP B WWTP C Lab reactor WWTP A (Conv. Fig. 121 mPa s. Increase in kLa values with increasing impeller rotation rate (N).). an increase in impeller rotation rate resulted in an increase in kLa for all the examined activated sludge samples and the control sample. The apparent viscosities of lab scale reactor sludge ranged between 12. The data show that the kLa values of the sludge samples obtained from WWTP A (Conv. 3. suggesting that measured kLa values have an error of about 20%. [24]. The agitation rate of the stirred tank system was maintained at 240 rpm and the shear rate for the measurement of lap was set at 7. As expected. Each legend shows sample origin. Some samples shown in Fig.10 ap -0.1 1 10 Fig. (4). Krampe and Krauth [9].6 0. 5.) WWTP A (A2O) WWTP B WWTP C Lab reactor MLSS (g LÀ1) 10 9. 0. / Chemical Engineering Journal 225 (2013) 673–678 Table 2 MLSS values for the samples shown in Fig.1 and 46. an increase in lap for all examined activated sludge samples resulted in an exponential decrease in their a-factor values. Decreases in a-factor values with mixed liquor apparent viscosity (lap). 3. most a-factor values did not fit onto an exponential curve when plotted against MLSS values (Fig. 5.5 0. it is hypothesized that oxygen mass transfer rates in activated sludge will increase if flocculant addition decreases the lap.2 mPa s. for which the MLSS was adjusted as shown in Table 2. Accordingly. 3 because their apparent viscosities were not measured. 80 sÀ1) to those used in our study (7.0207x 0. Correlation between kLa and agitation Reynolds number (Re). 2) although most fitted an exponential curve when plotted against the determined lap values (Fig.1 sÀ1 and a-factor values for the samples shown in Fig. This was despite them ap applying different reactor shear rates (i. 18.676 T.3. 10 g L-1 Lab reactor. In this present study. WWTP A (A2O).) 0.9 0.2 0 0 100 200 300 400 N [min-1] Fig. and Rosenberger et al.1 sÀ1). and 10 5. which suggests that its value is determined by the lap irrespective of the origin of the sample analyzed.9.1 0 0 α = 2. 4 shows the relationship between the N and kLa. WWTP B. 3.4.7 mPa s achieved by changing the MLSS (10–20 g LÀ1). 4. Eq.0. apparent viscosity. Influence of rheological properties on oxygen transfer rates To investigate the influence of sludge rheological properties on oxygen transfer rates. 10 g L-1 kLa [min-1] 0. It is clear that increasing Re results in an increase in kLa. 1 y = 0. 15 g L-1 Lab reactor.7 1.384 3.6 0. 3).67 mPa s Lab reactor.7 mPa s.8 0. and 15 11.01 0.1.01 0. Correlation between activated sludge viscosity and a-factor When a-factor values were compared to the corresponding lap the following outcomes were seen.

68 18.17 20. the pH values of WWTP sludges were around 7.239 0.6 WWTP A (Conv. while only the SVI of the lab reactor sludge increased.4 Â 10À3 Mean particle diameter (lm) 135 141 70.275 0.6 Â 10À3 1. The differences in flocculation between WWTP sludges and lab reactor sludge may depend on the pH of activated sludge.228 0. where u is the volume fraction of the solid phase in a solid–liquid mixture. average values ± standard deviations are shown. These included no effect on viscosity of particle size nor of particle position [28]. [15] reported that the decrease in endogenous oxygen mass transfer uptake rates after flocculation could be explained by a pH shift.5 sÀ1.4 0.32 8.10 kLa (sÀ1) 0.9 Â 10À3 1. Thus.87 7. 109%.603 0. these volume fractions decreased.0 ± 0. 111%. Most of these essentially extend the work of Einstein on spheres.) 0. On the other hand. 6.4 ± 0.2 0.03 ± 1.17 8. and use his equation [27]: lap ¼ ð1 þ 2:5uÞl0 ð7Þ kLa (Cal)[min -1] 0.06 ± 3. Correlation between measured kLa (kLa (Exp)) and calculated kLa (kLa (Cal)). The solid line illustrates the close agreement of kLa (Exp) and kLa (Cal) and the dashed lines show the error ± 20%.03 ± 1. Table 3 shows a slight decrease in the endogenous respiration rate of all the WWTPs sludge but not the lab reactor sludge.6 Â 10À3 0.1 sÀ1 although the other lap values were measured at the shear rate of 17.35a 22. as did their lap according to Eq. Therefore. Iversen et al. the volume fraction and lap increased. b The pH values were measured at the beginning (0 min) of endogenous respiration measurement.1 0.05 ± 3.17 84.3 Â 10À3 1.01 ± 6.5 sÀ1.07 ± 1.2 Â 10À3 1. and l0 is liquid viscosity with no suspended solids.281 0.5 ± 0.303 0.02 ± 3.3 0.05 ± 7. Nittami et al.09 6.482 0.197 0. Therefore.7 ± 0. while the lab reactor sludge flocs were more diffuse.535 0. Table 3 Activated sludge characteristics before and after flocculation.615 0.05 6.5 WWTP A (A2O) WWTP B WWTP C Lab reactor Tap water 0.420 0. As floc densities of the WWTP sludges increased. This suggests that all WWTP sludge flocs became denser after polyelectrolyte addition. Also. The lap and lap of supernatant were measured in triplicate.2 ± 0. They reported that large flocs and clear supernatants after flocculation were achievable at pH values below 7.4 Â 10À3 1. and not the liquid supernatant.25 114 ± 0. again as expected.96 6. Moreover.4 0.5 MLSS (mg LÀ1) 10240 10020 9580 9580 9840 9760 10080 9480 10840 10080 9300 9540 SVI (mL gÀ1) 283 106 291 83. In some previous studies [15.9 146 157 149 177 95.399 lap of supernatant (mPa s) 1.35 7. while that of the lab reactor sludge was above 8 (Table 3).9 58. the changes in lap values seem to depend largely on changes to the physical properties of the suspended solids phase.70 6.579 0. a These three lap values were measured at the shear rate of 7. but not that of the lab reactor sludge. respectively.58a 43. the lap values of sludge samples obtained from WWTP C and WWTP D decreased after flocculant addition. (7) means that lap is a linear function of u. This result supports the view that flocs in the WWTP sludges were denser than they were in the lab reactor sludge. these data [15] also seem to suggest that changes to sludge particle size and shape might lead to a decrease in oxygen mass transfer rates following flocculant addition.0990 pHb 6. as the floc density of lab reactor sludge decreased. where the differences between the respective values are much lower.248 0. Gill and Herrington [29] have investigated the effect of pH on kaolin suspensions flocculated with cationic polyacrylamides.984 ± 8. while the supernatant viscosity did not change [26].58a 45.73 ± 0. with high density flocs and a pH shift.5 260 63.59 7.3 282 130 84. .5 0.265 0.060 13.529 0. while with the lab reactor sludge the pH was close to neutrality. 110%. a decrease of 13% in the oxygen transfer rate was reported for activated sludge samples to which polyaluminium chloride (PAC) had been added.610 0. (7).8 97.) WWTP A (A2O) WWTP B WWTP C WWTP D Lab reactor lap (mPa s) 127 ± 0.0 93.60 ± 0.2 Â 10À3 1.1 0 0 0. and WWTP D increased after polymer addition. Although exogenous oxygen uptake rates were not investigated in this study.547 0. / Chemical Engineering Journal 225 (2013) 673–678 677 0.T.76 7.06 ± 2.3 Endogenous respiration (mgO2 gMLSSÀ1 hÀ1) 0.5 46. as any decrease in bacterial respiration rate (i.6 Â 10À3 1.2 0.0 Â 10À3 1. some WWTP sludges showed a shift in their pH values from neutrality to mild acidity after flocculation (Table 3).25]. Activated sludge WWTP A (Conv.05 ± 1.4 62.228 0. although it was derived based on several theoretical assumptions.01 ± 3.44 52.768 0.4 ± 0. Eq. and only the lab reactor sludge seemed to show poor flocculation characteristics.1 ± 0. after flocculant addition. As shown in Table 3. which were prepared by copolymerization of acrylamide and dimethylaminoethyl acrylate quaternised with methyl chloride.6 kLa (Exp)[min -1] Fig. Furthermore. Therefore.0661 0. since respiration rates would depend on the extent of their contact area with oxygen. In contrast the kLa of lab scale reactor sludge decreased. C. the mean particle sizes of all activated sludge samples increased after flocculant addition.2 Â 10À3 1. it seems that whether flocculant addition improves the kLa in activated sludge depends on whether it reduces correspondingly the lap value. bacterial respiration rate would be affected by more than the apparent viscosity of activated sludge. the mixed liquor viscosity increased slightly.621 0. In this present study. by 116%. At a shear rate of 17.89 6.3 -20% +20% Many models have been used to determine suspension viscosity.249 0.e.5 ± 0.5 Â 10À3 1.21 9.1 145 75. Table 3 also shows the lap values for the supernatant phase before and after flocculant addition. slightly to 95% of its original value.17 6. and 113%.11 Upper stand shows the values before flocculation and lower stand after flocculation.

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