Basic protocol of BM Respirometry Measurements and applications for activated sludge process management and energy optimization

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Courtesy of SURCIS, S.L.

The use of the BM advanced respirometry system enables the user to get the precise calculation of the operating parameters and limit set points that any activated sludge actually needs within the framework of an energy optimization. For that reason, the proper use of this respirometry is more than justified; and not only because of getting the parameters for a good process performance, but also to keep a healthy biomass and prevent possible potential problems.

However, because of the wide range of applications and possibilities that BM respirometry can offer, it is critical to get a protocol that can be adapted to any specific process and carried out by the plant operator within his available timeframe.

For this protocol here explained we can use any of the BM respirometers, but in case the pH could play a critical role in its performance, it would be recommended the model BM-Advance which includes an automatic pH monitoring and control system.

The BM respirometer can be programmed with three different operation modes (OUR, Cyclic OUR and R) and can be set for different conditions of DO, Temperature, pH, sample volumes. Those conditions can be changed during the test performance. All simultaneous measurements can be displayed on tabular or graphic mode during the test and respirogramas can be overlaid. The R test, since we can use small amount of wastewater sample, the tests can be run in very short term.

There is not a unique protocol for all plants, but here we describe the most common that can be used as a base to make the final protocol for a specific process

Pulse of the process by means UNFED SOUR
By means a simple SOUR test in the effluent sludge (UNFED SOUR) and the checking of the value obtained with a guide table, we can find a quality assessment of how the process is performing and if it has got any possible inhibition symptoms already present in the biological reactor.

Just in case the SOUR value remains within certain range below or above the reference value of the table, we could update the aeration conditions (e.g. readjusting DO set-points) and in this way get an energy optimization

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