Aerobic co-treatment of landfill leachate and domestic wastewater – are slowly biodegradable organics removed or simply diluted?
This study investigated the co-treatment of landfill leachate/domestic wastewater in bench-scale activated sludge (AS) reactors to determine whether the slowly biodegradable organic matter (SBOM) was removed rather than diluted. The AS reactors were loaded with mixtures of raw leachate and leachate that was pretreated by air stripping. The tested volumetric ratios were 0%, 0.2%, 2% and 5%. For all of the tested conditions, the reactors performed better when pretreated leachate was used rather than raw leachate, and the best volumetric ratio was 2%. The following removals were obtained: 97% for the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5,20), 79% for total suspended solids, 77% for dissolved organic carbon and 84% for soluble chemical oxygen demand. Most of the pretreated leachate SBOM (65%) was removed rather than diluted or adsorbed into the sludge, as confirmed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy analyses.