Use of external carbon sources derived from biowaste for short-cut nutrient removal from anaerobic effluents

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This work evaluated the use of different external carbon sources to promote the via-nitrite nutrient removal from anaerobic effluents. The carbon sources consisted of fermentation liquid produced from the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW FL), drainage liquid produced from OFMSW, fermentation liquid produced from vegetable and fruit waste (VFW FL) and acetic acid. Denitritation and phosphorus uptake via nitrite were evaluated in two sequencing batch reactors, one treating the anaerobic supernatant produced from the co-digestion of OFMSW and activated sludge (highly nitrogenous anaerobic effluent – HNAE), and the other one treating the weakly nitrogenous anaerobic effluent (WNAE) from an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor. The use of OFMSW FL to treat HNAE resulted in high nitrite (27 mgN/(gVSS·h) (VSS – volatile suspended solids) and phosphate uptake (15 mgP/gVSS·h). In the WNAE, nutrient kinetics were much slower. The use of acetic acid and VFW FL performed poorly, while the use of OFMSW FL, which was rich in butyric acid and propionic acid, resulted in significant nutrient removal (7 mgN/gVSS·h and 6 mgP/gVSS·h). The economic evaluation showed that the use of OFMSW FL is a less expensive option than the acetic acid use.

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