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Title: Biological nutrient removal from industrial wastewater using a sequencing batch reactor
Authors: Khumalo, Siphesihle Mangena 
Issue Date: 2018
South Africa is not an exception when it comes to the issue of fresh water scarcity perpetuated by environmental pollution among many other factors. Industrial wastewater particularly emanating from the brewing industry, contains high-strength organic, inorganic, and biological compounds which are toxic to the environment. Due to stringent industrial effluent dewatering standards enforced by both local and international environmental protection entities, industrial wastewater cannot be discharged into receiving water bodies prior to treatment.

The overall aim of this study was to evaluate the performance or treatment efficacy of a laboratory scale sequencing batch reactor on biological nutrient removal using industrial wastewater from brewery. In this study, two laboratory scale sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) operated in a cyclic aerobic-anaerobic configuration inoculated with activated sludge were investigated for their removal of orthophosphates and nitrogen compounds from brewery wastewater. SBR-1 was investigated for nitrogen group pollutant removal and SBR-2 was investigated for orthophosphate removal. The findings of the study are reported based on overall removal efficacies for the following process monitoring parameters: orthophosphates, ammoniacal nitrogen, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, total nitrogen, total organic nitrogen, total inorganic nitrogen and NO3-N+NO2-N.

From the investigation, the following overall removal efficacies were obtained: 69% orthophosphates, 69% ammoniacal nitrogen, 59% total Kjeldahl nitrogen, 60% total nitrogen, 64% total organic nitrogen, 67% total inorganic nitrogen and 56% NO3-N+NO2-N at an organic loading rate of 3.17 kg Total Chemical Oxygen Demand (TCOD) / with a food to microorganism ratio of 2.86 g TCOD/g Volatile Suspended Solids (VSS).day. These removal efficacies were attained for a hydraulic retention time of 18 hours for both SBRs with a solids retention time of 5 days for SBR-1 and 7 days for SBR-2.

Both reactors were operated at a mesophilic temperature range of 23 to 26˚C and a pH range of 5 to 8.5. The temperature was left unadjusted because it was observed that it did not hinder any microbial activities during the biodegradation process. The Michealis-Menten’s and Monod models were implemented to study the substrate utilisation rate kinetics and microbial growth rate kinetics recording 15 141 g COD/; 12 518 g VSS/g; 20 343 g

COD/ and 16 860 g VSS/g for SBR-1 and SBR-2, respectively. The Monod model demonstrated a strong correlation fit between the substrate utilisation rate and microbial growth rate recording a polynomial correlation constant of R2 = 0.947 and 0.9582 for SBR-1 and SBR-2, respectively.

The findings of this study showed that the cyclic aerobic-anaerobic configuration on a laboratory scale SBR inoculated with activated sludge for treatment of brewery wastewater for biological nutrients was feasible.
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Engineering: Chemical Engineering, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2018.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Engineering and Built Environment)

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