Nutrient removal in reverse osmosis concentrates using a biological aerated filter

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The aim of this study is to employ a biological aerated filter (BAF) in the treatment of reverse osmosis (RO) concentrate received from reuse of treatment plant wastewater. Furthermore, the influence of chemical oxygen demand (COD)/N ratio on the nutrient removal was analyzed to find the detailed removal pathways of nutrients. The result was found to be high efficiency for biochemical oxygen demand removal (95.86%) compared to that of COD (88.95%) and suspended solids (81.12%). The total phosphorus (TP) (67.66%) and PO4-P (61.42%) removal efficiencies were relatively lower than that of total nitrogen (TN) (81.42%) and NO3-N (76.70%). This may be due to the fact that the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)/TP ratio (8.01) was relatively low. Decreasing the COD/N ratio decreased TP and PO4-P removal efficiency. However, the removal efficiency of TN and NH4-N was increased from 47.60 to 64.54 and 54.17 to 73.72% with decreasing of COD/N ratio from 8.19 to 7.64, respectively. In addition, the denitrification rate and nitrification rate were increased from 211.8 to 301.0 mg/L d and 87.7 to 109.4 mg/L d, respectively, when COD/N ratios changed from 8.19 to 7.64. Therefore, in order to reuse the RO concentrate, the BAF process could effectively treat the RO concentrate.

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