28 Feb Integrated Resource Recovery from Aerobic Granular Sludge Plants
Nouran T. Bahgat, Philipp Wilfert, Leon Korving, and Mark van Loosdrecht
The study evaluated the combined phosphorus, nitrogen, methane, and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) recovery from aerobic granular sludge (AGS) wastewater treatment plants. About 30% of sludge organics are recovered as EPS and 25–30% as methane (?260 ml methane/g VS) by integrating alkaline anaerobic digestion (AD). It was shown that 20% of excess sludge total phosphorus (TP) ends in the EPS. Further, 20–30% ends in an acidic liquid waste stream (?600 mg PO4-P/L), and 15% in the AD centrate (?800 mg PO4-P/L) as ortho-phosphates in both streams and is recoverable via chemical precipitation. 30% of sludge total nitrogen (TN) is recovered as organic nitrogen in the EPS. Ammonium recovery from the alkaline high-temperature liquid stream is attractive, but it is not feasible for existing large-scale technologies because of low ammonium concentration. However, ammonium concentration in the AD centrate was calculated to be 2600 mg NH4-N/L and ?20% of TN, making it feasible for recovery. The methodology used in this study consisted of three main steps. The first step was to develop a laboratory protocol mimicking demonstration-scale EPS extraction conditions. The second step was to establish mass balances over the EPS extraction process on laboratory and demonstration scales within a full-scale AGS WWTP. Finally, the feasibility of resource recovery was evaluated based on concentrations, loads, and integration of existing technologies for resource recovery.
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