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Department of Civil Engineering-I.I.T.

CEL 212: Environmental Engineering (2nd Semester 2010-2011)
Biological Processes
Courtesy: Dr. Arvind K. Nema
Example 1. Design of the aeration basis based on solids retention time. You are provided
the following information about a municipal wastewater treatment plant. This plant will use
the traditional activated sludge process. Population = 150,000 people, flow rate of 33.75x106
L/day (equals 225L/person/day) and influent BOD5 concentration of 444 mg/L (note this is
high strength wastewater). Assume that the regulatory agency enforces an effluent standard
of BOD5 = 20 mg/L and suspended solids standard of 20 mg/L in the treated wastewater. A
wastewater sample is collected from the biological reactor and is found to contain a
suspended solids concentration of 4,300 mg/L. The suspended solids concentration in the
secondary sludge is 15,000 mg/L and the concentration in the secondary sludge is 5,000
mg/L. The concentration of suspended solids in the plant influent is 200 mg/L and that which
leaves the primary clarifier is 100 mg/L. The microorganisms in the activated sludge process
can convert 100 grams of BOD5 into 55 grams of biomass. They have a maximum growth
rate of 0.1/day, a first-order death rate constant of 0.05/day, and they reach ½ of their
maximum growth rate when the BOD5 concentration is 10 mg/L. The mean cell retention
time of the solids is 4 days and sludge is processed on the belt filter press every 5 days.
A. What is the design volume of the aeration basin?
Solution: Assuming that 30% o f the plant influent BOD5 is removed during primary
sedimentation, this means that So = 444 mg/L × 0.70 = 310 mg/L. Thus,
1/SRT = [(Qo × Y)/(V × X)) × (So-S)] – kd
1 / 4 days=[33.75x106 L/day (0.55 gm SS/gm BOD5) /V 4,300 mg SS/L (310 mg/L – 20
mg/L)] – 0.05/day
Solve for V = 5,000,000 Liters
B. What is the plant’s aeration period?
Solution: The plant’s aeration period is the number of hours that the wastewater is aerated
during the activated sludge process. This equals the hydraulic detention time of the biological
HRT= V/Q = 5,000,000 L / 33.75 x 106 L/day = 0.15 days = 3.6 hours
C. How many kg of primary and secondary dry solids need to be processed daily from the
treatment plant?
Solution: The amount of solids processed from the primary sedimentation tanks equals the
difference in suspended solids concentrations measured across the sedimentation tanks
multiplied by the plant flow rate.
33.75x106 L/day (200 mg SS/L – 100 mgSS/L) × kg/1,00,000 mg = 2,275 kg primary solids
per day

.000 mg/L.000 L (4. Solution.50 Suggested Steps: 1.0 d-1. ++++++++++ Problem 1: Design a complete mix activated sludge process to treat 0. The effluent is to have BOD5 of 20mg/L or less. phosphorus and other trace nutrients for biological growth. F/M = Q So / X V = [33. Wastewater contains adequate nitrogen.Effluent contains 22 mg/L of biosolids. . By definition.25 m3/s of wastewater with BOD5 of 250 mg/L.Ratio of MLVSS to MLSS is 0. Assume the temperature is 20oC and the following conditions are applicable.000.75x106 L/day x 310 mg/L) / [4. µm = 5.300 mg SS/L) / Qw × Xw Solve for QwXw which equals 5.Kinetic coefficients: Ks = 50 mg/L. (MLSS and MLVSS: Mixed liquor suspended solids (represents total solids) and mixed liquor volatile suspended solids (represents biological solids).400 kg secondary dry solids per day.48 lbs BOD5/lb MLSS-day Various reactor configurations are available.68 x BODL 2.06 d-1 and Y = 0.300 mgSS/L × 5. .The influent and effluent microorganism concentrations are negligible. D. 4 days = V × X / Qw × Xw = 5. The two basic types are plug flow (PF) and completely mixed flow (CMF) reactors.We have not provided with the concentration difference of suspended solids across the secondary sedimentation tanks so we can determine the amount of secondary solids produced daily in the same manner that we used for primary solids. Determine the F/M ratio (in units of lbs BOD5/lb MLSS-day) using data provided in the above example problem. Food and microorganisms are completely mixed in the aeration basin. kd = 0.8. careful examination of the expression of solids retention time shows that that the term QwXw equals the answer.000 L] = 0. Estimate the concentration of soluble BOD5 in the effluent (eff) BOD5 in the eff = Soluble BOD5 in the eff + BOD5 in the eff suspended solids BOD5 = 0. but are less able to handle spikes in the BOD load. Compute the reactor volume . Other modifications of the process are based on the manner in which waste and oxygen are introduced to the system. of which 65% is biodegradable . .MLVSS concentration in the reactor = 3500 mg/L. Determine the treatment efficiency 3. each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Return sludge concentration = 10.000.Design mean cell residence time (θC) is 10 days . However. PF reactors offer a higher treatment efficiency than CMF reactors.

use the following equation: Y Px = Q(S o − S ) 10 − 3 kg g 1 + k dθ c Px = waste activated sludge produced [kg VSS/d] 6. f = conversion factor to convert BOD5 to BODL. To estimate the excess sludge production. the oxygen requirements of activated sludge can be estimated: Q(So − S ) 10−3 kg g M O2 = − 1. However.0 mg/L-d).42Px .10 to 1. use a low sludge wasting rate (Qw) creating a = M VX long cell detention time (θc) S= 5. Oxygen Requirements: Activated sludge uses large volumes of oxygen in the production of sludge and the consumption of BOD.42. QS o F To achieve a low F/M ratio. Food to Microorganism Ratio: To keep the microorganisms efficient. f Calculate air requirement ( ( ) ) .θ Y (S o − S ) K s (1 + k d θ c ) V VX θ= X = c θc = Q θ c (µ m − k d ) − 1 θ (1 + k d θ c ) Qw X r S = BOD concentration in activated sludge (S = BOD5 allowed – BOD5 in SS) [mg/L] X = microorganism concentration in activated sludge [mg/L of MLVSS] Xr = microorganism concentration in recycle [mg/L of VSS] SO = influent BOD [mg/L] θc = mean cell resident time in the aeration tank [d] θ = hydraulic detention time [d] V = aeration tank volume [m3] Q = flow rate [m3/d] Qw = flow rate of waste sludge [m3/d] µm = maximum specific substrate utilization rate [d-1] KS = half-maximum rate concentration [mg/L] -1 kd = endogenous-decay rate coefficient [d ] Y = yield coefficient [mg/L MLVSS/mg/L] 4. the Food to Microorganism Ratio (F/M) must be keep low (around 0. oxygen is produced during cell formation by moving from right to left per Equation 5-44: C5H7O2N + 5O2 <-----> 5CO2 + 2H2O + NH3 + energy The ratio of oxygen usage to cell formation is 5(32)/113 = 1. Waste Sludge Production: Excess sludge is produced during the activated sludge process that must be treated and disposed of. Subtracting cell formation from the oxygen consumed in the reduction of BOD (SO-S).