Application of Bioaugmentation Technology to Improve the Activated Sludge Treatment Process in Removal of Aromatic Compounds

Document Type: Full article

Abstract

This investigation was designed to evaluate the effects of bioaugmentation on maintaining the system stability under shock loading conditions, standardizing the effluent, and improving the sludge settlement. In this study, phenol was chosen as a model of mono-aromatic compounds which are found commonly in many industrial wastewaters, especially petroleum refineries and the petrochemical industry in Iran. Impacts of bioaugmentation with the best isolated microorganism on the system performance facing sudden toxic shock were investigated after acclimatizing the system with phenol, isolating the phenol degrading microorganisms, and selecting the best phenol degrading strain. Results indicated that this method was improved the efficiency of the system under shock loading from 30% to 94% and SVI from 333 ml/g to 80 ml/g. The effluent was standardized after bioaugmentation at a minimum HRTs of 10, 10, 12 and 24 h, respectively, and at influent COD of 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000 mg/l. The system efficiency and SVI were located in an average range of 99.4-99.9% and 50-71 ml/g, respectively, and the sludge growth was good, even under high organic loading rates after bioaugmentation. In conclusion, bioaugmentation could be used as an effective and efficient method to improve a CAS process facing sudden toxic pollutant shock loading.

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