Strength characteristics of aerobic granular sludge


Aerobic granular sludge has a number of advantages over conventional activated sludge flocs, such as cohesive and strong matrix, fast settling characteristic, high biomass retention and ability to withstand high organic loadings, all aspects leading towards a compact reactor system. Still there are very few studies on the strength of aerobic granules. A procedure that has been used previously for anaerobic granular sludge strength analysis was adapted and used in this study. A new coefficient was introduced, called a stability coefficient (S), to quantify the strength of the aerobic granules. Indicators were also developed based on the strength analysis results, in order to categorize aerobic granules into three levels of strength, i.e. very strong (very stable), strong (stable) and not strong (not stable). The results indicated that aerobic granules grown on acetate were stronger (high density: >150 g T SSL−1 and low S value: 5%) than granules developed on sewage as influent. A lower value of S indicates a higher stability of the granules.

Keywords: aerobic granular sludge, granule density, stability, strength

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