Cellular ATP – A Superior Measure of Active Biomass for Biological Wastewater Treatment Processes
Biological wastewater treatment processes harness the ability of microorganisms to break down and assimilate organic compounds that, if left untreated, cause detriment to the environment. Although this process occurs naturally, engineered systems are used to accelerate the process by optimizing bioreactor conditions to promote higher-than-typical biomass concentrations, thus increasing the rate of removal of biodegradable substances. However, in part due to the lack of an effective monitoring parameter for living biomass, these systems are rarely able to maximize efficiency and can be prone to debilitating upsets. Through years of research, LuminUltra Technologies Ltd. has developed test kits based on the measurement of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) for rapid and accurate monitoring of the concentration and health of living biomass at any location in a biological wastewater treatment system. The focus of this paper is on the advantages of Cellular ATP (cATPTM) as a measure of living biomass concentration compared to conventional parameters such as Mixed Liquor Suspended Solids (MLSS) or Mixed Liquor Volatile Suspended Solids (MLVSS), and will identify the opportunities for improvement through having this superior information. Such opportunities include the ability to optimize Food-to-Microorganism ratios, supplement feed rates, mixing efficiency / load balancing, respirometry analyses, and more.