University of Tehran

Sequencing batch reactor: a promising technology in wastewater treatment

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Courtesy of University of Tehran

In recent years, sequencing batch reactor (SBR) has been employed as an efficient technology for wastewater treatment, especially for domestic wastewaters, because of its simple configuration (all necessary processes are taking place time- sequenced in a single basin) and high efficiency in BOD and suspended solids removal. SBRs could achieve nutrient removal using alternation of anoxic and aerobic periods (Rim eli at., 1997). The SBR has received considerable attention since Irvine and Davis described its operation (Irvine and Davis, 1971) and studies of SBR process were originally conducted at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana (Irvine and Busch, 1979). The sequencing batch reactor (SBR) is a fill-and thaw activated sludge system for wastewater treatment. In this system, wastewater is added to a single “batch” reactor, treated to remove undesirable components, and then discharged. Equalization, aeration, and clarification can all be achieved using a single batch reactor.

To optimize the performance of the system, two or more batch reactors are used in a predetermined sequence of operations. SBR systems have been successfully used to treat both municipal and industrial wastewater. They are uniquely suited for wastewater treatment applications characterized by low or intermittent flow conditions (JJS EPA, 1999). Fill-and-draw batch processes similar to the SBR are not a recent development as commonly thought. Between 1914 and 1920, several full-scale fill-and thaw systems were in operation. Interest in SBRs was revived in the late 195 Os and early 1960s, with the development of new equipment and technology. Improvements in aeration devices and controls have allowed SBRs to successfully compete with conventional activated sludge systems (TJSEPA, 1999).

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