Oxygen Transfer of Fine-Bubble Aeration in Activated Sludge Treating Saline Industrial Wastewater
Aeration is usually the most energy-intensive part of the activated sludge process, accounting for 50% to 80% of the total requirement. To achieve high efficiency, designers and operators of WWTPs must, therefore, consider all influencing factors, including salinity. With increasing salinity, oxygen transfer increases compared to tap water (TW), due to the inhibition of bubble coalescence. Previous saline water (SW) experiments showed that by using small slits in the diffuser membrane design,
... ygen transfer and aeration efficiency increase further. In this study, we present a modified approach for considering the salt effect on oxygen transfer and assess the transferability of SW results to saline-activated sludge (sAS) conditions. Therefore, we operated a pilot-activated sludge plant over 269 days with a saline industrial wastewater influent. The oxygen transfer of disc-diffusers with two different membrane designs was measured continuously via the off-gas method. The salt concentration (cSalt) measured via ion analysis ranged between 4.9 and 11 g/L. Despite a high cSalt fluctuation, COD elimination was >90% all the time. Our results confirm previous SW results. Oxygen transfer in sAS is up to three times higher compared to non-saline conditions. Aeration efficiency shows that despite a higher pressure drop, diffusers with smaller slits are to be recommended in order to improve aeration in sAS.