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Assessment of the use of precipitating agents and ceramic membranes for treatment of effluents with high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus from recirculating aquaculture systems

Bonisławska, Małgorzata, Nędzarek, Arkadiusz, Rybczyk, Agnieszka
Aquaculture research 2019 v.50 no.4 pp. 1248-1256
aluminum, bentonite, catfish, ceramics, chemical precipitation, coagulants, effluents, iron, lanthanum, microfiltration, nanofiltration, nitrogen, nitrogen content, nitrogen dioxide, phosphorus, recirculating aquaculture systems, total suspended solids, turbidity, wastewater, water purification
Following the culturing of post‐juvenile African catfish, wastewaters were purified using single and integrated processes. Iron coagulant (IC), aluminium coagulant (AC), lanthanum modified bentonite (LMB) and ceramic membranes (NF – nanofiltration) were each tested in single processes, while the combination of IC + NF and AC + NF were used in the integrated process tests. Among the single processes, membrane filtration was the most effective in purifying the aquaculture effluent. The total suspended solids (TSS) were removed entirely and there was a near‐complete removal of turbidity (99.2%), as well as effective removal of Al and Fe (80.8% and 67.4% respectively). Precipitating agents overall removed TSS most faithfully, from 37.5% removal with AC, through 50.2% with IC, to 62.3% with LMB. Using integrated processes, the highest removal efficacy was recorded for TSS (100%) and turbidity (99.7% – IC + NF; 99.9% – AC + NF). Additionally, integrated processes attained a 96.8%–98.4% removal of NO₂‐‐N. This study confirms the possibility of using IC, AC and LMB in chemical purification of effluents from recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). However, due to their low removal efficacy for nitrogen and phosphorus, it is preferable to use NF or integrated processes – membrane filtration combined with chemical precipitation, methods which proved to be most effective for water purification in RAS.