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Abstract

The complexity and uncontrolled formation of struvite (MgNH4PO4·6H2O) and its deposition in the technological equipment of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are still the subject of research aimed at understanding the causes and proposing a remedial action. In order to reduce the intensity of the precipitation of struvite in wastewater treatment plants, it is recommended, among others, to limit flow velocity to below 1.5 m·s-1. Literature analysis showed that there are no studies on the precipitation of struvite deposits in pipelines. Most studies focus on the deliberate precipitation of struvite, for example phosphorus recovery, resulting in a molar ratio of 1:1:1 (NH4+:PO43-:Mg2+). In fact, in WWTPs, such concentrations do not occur, but there have been cases of the precipitation of this mineral (and its mixtures) in the sludge parts. In this paper, the study aimed at determining conditions for the precipitation of deposits with a significant participation of struvite on the inner walls of steel pipes. The study was conducted at a non-stoichiometric concentration of ingredients at different pH values, as well as under dynamic conditions with flow velocity below 1.5 m·s-1. A mathematical formula (ANOVA) that can be used to determine the mass of deposits in relation to the concentration of ammonium, phosphate, pH and flow velocity was developed. Computational models were developed on to investigate struvite precipitation under different pH levels (8.0–9.5) and ionic concentrations. The studies were carried out on solutions containing ammonium (NH4+), phosphate (PO43-), and magnesium (Mg2+), at a flow velocities of 0.4, 0.9 and 1.4 m·s-1. In order to determine the mathematical formula thanks to which the mass of precipitates can be determined, a special pilot study installation was constructed. The XPS surface analysis of sludge from sewage treatment plants showed a similar composition of compounds with sediments obtained in own research. The presence of struvite was suggested, but the share of atomic percentage of bonds to which struvite was classified is small and amounts to less than 4%. This means that sediments precipitated in the technological installations are a mixture of various compounds of which pure struvite may constitute only a small part.
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Abstract

Primary or secondary sewage sludge in medium and large WWTP are most often processed by anaerobic digestion, as a method of conditioning, sludge quantity minimization and biogas production. With the aim to achieve the best results of sludge processing several modifications of technologies were suggested, investigated and introduced in the full technical scale. Various sludge pretreatment technologies before anaerobic treatment have been widely investigated and partially introduced. Obviously, there are always some limitations and some negative side effects. Selected aspects have been presented and discussed. The problem of nitrogen has been highlighted on the basis of the carried out investigations. The single and two step - mesophilic and thermophilic - anaerobic waste activated sludge digestion processes, preceded by preliminary hydrolysis were investigated. The aim of lab-scale experiments was pre-treatment of the sludge by means of low intensive alkaline and hydrodynamic disintegration. Depending on the pretreatment technologies and the digestion temperature large ammonia concentrations, up to 1800 mg NH4/dm3 have been measured. Return of the sludge liquor to the main sewage treatment line means additional nitrogen removal costs. Possible solutions are discussed.
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Abstract

The aim of the study was to develop an effective treatment of post-digestion liquors highly-loaded with biogenic and organic substances. The scope of the research project encompassed: mesophilic anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge (WAS) as well as the treatment of post-digestion liquors, coming from the most appropriate HRT value of 25 days, in the process of ammonium magnesium phosphate (struvite) precipitation targeted at ammonia nitrogen binding and a subsequent reverse osmosis (RO) process. It was established that the method combining chemical precipitation and high-pressure filtration ensures a high degree of contaminants removal allowing for a direct release of treated liquors into the natural reservoir. However, in order to decrease the residual NH4+ concentration (6.1 mg NH4+/dm3) in the purified post-digestion liquors below the level allowing for a direct release to the natural reservoir, it turned out to be necessary to apply increased molar ratio of magnesium and phosphates (Mg:NH4+: PO43-= 1.5:1:1.5).
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