Inderscience Publishers

Investigation of OUR and NUR experiments for nitrogen and phosphorus removal with activated sludge: a lab-scale study

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Activated sludge systems are widely used in wastewater treatment. Organic carbon removal and nutrient removal are important for stringent water discharge standards. Therefore, activated sludge systems are widely used to remove carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in new wastewater treatment systems or upgrades of existing systems. The determination of system compounds and kinetic parameters for modelling of these systems are important. For this purpose, respirometric measurements are used to reveal the electron consumption rate of biomass. In order to determine OUR (oxygen uptake rate) and NUR (nitrate uptake rate) parameters, a laboratory scale activated sludge system, including anaerobic, anoxic and aerobic zones, was developed. The performance of the system was continuously controlled from influent and effluent samples. OUR and NUR measurements indicated the kind of nitrogen-phosphorus removal systems required. Moreover, phosphorus uptake in the anoxic zone was investigated. It was found that phosphorus uptake in the anaerobic zone was related to substrate type consumed biologically. The OUR and NUR were found to be lower than in continuous activated sludge measurements. This may be because the mixed culture of the system affected the system performance, owing to competition between denitrification bacteria and poly-P bacteria.

Keywords: activated sludge, anaerobic zone, nitrate uptake rate, nitrogen-phosphorus removal, oxygen uptake rate

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