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Biodegradation and chemical precipitation of dissolved nutrients in anaerobically digested sludge dewatering centrate

Galvagno, G., Eskicioglu, C., Abel-Denee, M.
Water research 2016 v.96 pp. 84-93
aluminum chloride, anaerobic ammonium oxidation, anaerobic digesters, biodegradation, chemical precipitation, dewatering, dissolved organic nitrogen, nutrients, phosphorus, sludge, wastewater treatment, Canada
The objective of this research was to assess specific side-stream treatment processes for biodegradation and precipitation of dissolved nutrients in dewatering centrate. In this study, characterization was made of a conventional suspended growth deammonification treatment process for transforming dissolved polyphosphate (poly-P), dissolved organic phosphorus (DOP) and dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) in two types of dewatering centrate. The deammonification process was configured as a sequencing batch reactor (SBR), combining partial nitrification and anaerobic ammonia oxidation (anammox) in a single tank. The first centrate feed studied was from the full-scale Annacis Island wastewater treatment plant (AIWWTP) located in Metro Vancouver, Canada. The second centrate feed was from a lab-scale anaerobic digester (AD) fed waste sludge from the existing City of Kelowna Wastewater Treatment Facility (KWTF), located in the Okanagan Valley, Canada. In addition, poly aluminum chloride (PACL) dosing was assessed for final polishing of dissolved nutrients. The deammonification SBR (DeSBR) process showed similar treatment characteristics for both the KWTF and AIWWTP centrates with excellent DON removal and poor non-reactive dissolved phosphorus (NRDP) removal. A statistical comparison of the DOP and poly-P through the DeSBR process suggests that DOP has a higher biodegradation potential. Future research focused on understanding the variables associated with degradation of DOP could lead to better NRDP removal through deammonification processes. Utilization of a post-anammox PACL chemical dosing stage can achieve the objective of precipitating any residual DON and NRDP and producing an effluent that has lower dissolved nutrients than the pre-digestion KWTF dewatering centrate scenario.