Upgrading of sewage treatment plant by sustainable and cost-effective separate treatment of industrial wastewater

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The Olburgen sewage treatment plant has been upgraded to improve the effluent quality by implementing a separate and dedicated treatment for industrial (potato) wastewater and reject water. The separate industrial treatment has been realized within a beneficial public-private partnership. The separate treatment of the concentrated flows of industrial wastewater and sludge treatment effluent proved to be more cost-efficient and area and energy efficient than a combined traditional treatment process. The industrial wastewater was first treated in a UASB reactor for biogas production. The UASB reactor effluent was combined with the reject water and treated in a struvite reactor (Phospaq process) followed by a one stage granular sludge nitritation/anammox process. For the first time both reactors where demonstrated on full scale and have been operated stable over a period of 3 years. The recovered struvite has been tested as a suitable substitute for commercial fertilizers. Prolonged exposure of granular anammox biomass to nitrite levels up to 30 mg/l did not result in inhibition of the anammox bacteria in this reactor configuration. The chosen option required a 17 times smaller reactorvolume (20,000 m3 less volume) and saves electric power by approximately 1.5 GWh per year.

Keywords: anammox, nitritation, potato processing, reject water, struvite, wastewater

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