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Introduction to ASP

Activated Sludge
Consists of a mixed
community of
microorganisms that
metabolize and transform
organic and inorganic
substances into
acceptable forms

Activated Sludge Process

Aerobic method for biological
waste water treatment
Based on the aeration of waste
water with flocculating biological
Usually the separation of the
growth from the treated waste
water is performed by settling
but it may also be done by
flotation and other methods

Aerobic Wastewater Treatment by the

Activated Sludge Process

Wastewater Source (Inflow)

Wastewater from sewage and industrial process, effluent from

primary sedimentation tanks and trickling filters, flow into an
equalization tank

Aerobic Biological Treatment (Aeration)

In the aeration basin, oxygen from the air is used by microorganisms
Activated sludge uses the organics in wastewater together with
nutrients that are available or that have been provided, to feed

The food is transformed either into free energy, carbon dioxide and
water or cellular material, which is equal to the new growth of
In the aeration unit small flocs are preferable

Secondary Clarification (Sedimentation)

In the sedimentation unit the valuable bacteria, settle by gravity
and can be return to the aeration unit
In the sedimentation unit big flocs are preferable

Treated Waste water (Outflow)

The outflow is the treated wastewater (effluent) without the settle
able matter (sludge)

Types of Activated Sludge Processes

Conventional ASP :
The primary treated wastewater and acclimated microorganisms are aerated in a basin or tank
The flocculent activated sludge solids are separated from the
wastewater in a clarifier
The clarified wastewater flows forward for further treatment or

Flow diagram for conventional asp

Complete Mix :
Most common method used today
wastewater may be immediately mixed with oxygen and bacteria
throughout the entire contents of the aeration basin
The volatile suspended solids concentration and oxygen
demand are the same throughout the tank

Flow diagram for complete mix

Plug Flow :
wastewater is routed through a series of channels in the
aeration basin
As the wastewater goes through the system, BOD and
organics concentration are greatly reduced
Air requirements and number of bacteria required also
decrease accordingly

Flow diagram for plug flow

Contact Stabilization :
Microorganisms consume Organics in the contact tank
Solids settle out later and are wasted from the system or returned
to a stabilization tank
Microbes digest organics in the stabilization tank

Flow diagram for contact stabilization

Kraus Process :
A portion of the return sludge flow from the clarifier is mixed with the
anaerobically digested sludge and the digested supernatant and is
recycled back to the aeration basin
The anaerobically digested sludge and digested supernatant is
added to the return sludge to improve settling of the flocs

Flow diagram for kraus process

Extended Aeration :
Used to treat industrial wastewater containing soluble organics
Same as complete mix, with just a longer aeration
Less sludge is generally produced

Oxidation ditch :
similar to plug flow but uses a circulator aeration basin

Step feed :
microbes gradually feed organics in a step feed mode at
multiple points along the tank plug flow

Tapered aeration :
air flow rate to the aeration basin may be tapered along the
length of the basin

Applications of activated sludge processes




Low-strength domestic waste, susceptible to

shock loads


General application, resistant to shock loads

Plug flow

Same as conventional


Expansion of existing systems, package

plants, flexible

Kraus process

Low-nitrogen, high strength wastes


Small communities, package plants, flexible

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages :
Removes organics
Oxidation and Nitrification achieved
Biological nitrification without adding chemicals
Biological Phosphorus removal
Capable of removing ~ 90% of suspended solids

Disadvantages :
Does not remove color from industrial wastes
Does not remove nutrients, tertiary treatment is necessary
Problem of getting well settled sludge

The Activated Sludge Process is a natural process
Oxygen from the air is used by micro-organisms as a source
of energy in ASP
The size of reactor required for wastewater treatment by
ASP is much smaller than one required for natural treatment
The micro-organisms not only remove organic materials
from the waste water, but also nitrogen and phosphorous
ASP may increase the color of the waste water through
formation of highly colored intermediates through oxidation


sludge.gif , Healthy Activated Sludge

r/group12/ ,The Activated Sludge Process

figuration.html , Activated Sludge Reactor Configuration

,Aerobic Wastewater
Treatment By The Activated Sludge Process

3/chap13.pdf , Activated Sludge Plants


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