UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Enhanced biological phosphorus removal using a sequencing batch RBC Simm, Robert


The objective of the research program was to demonstrate the technical feasibility of removing phosphorus, by the enhanced biological phosphorus removal mechanism, from domestic wastewater using a laboratory scale Sequencing Batch Rotating Biological Contactor (SBRBC). The rotating discs of the RBC were subjected to alternating anaerobic/aerobic conditions by varying the water level in the reaction vessel. At the start of the treatment cycle, the RBC reactor would be filled submerging the rotating discs and ensuring anaerobic conditions in the RBC biofilm. Acetate would be added to the reaction vessel at this time. Following the batch anaerobic react period part of the reactor contents were decanted to either the sewage feed tank or a separate holding vessel to later become part of the influent for the next treatment cycle. With the rotating: discs of the-RBC partially submerged oxygen was available to the bacteria, in the RBC biofilm. Three operating schedules were tried with the above process. Each operating schedule differed in the way the decanted wastewater from the anaerobic phase was handled. Batch tests were conducted weekly to determine the nature of the biological reactions taking place in each of the batch anaerobic and aerobic phases. The SBRBC process showed promise for enhanced biological phosphorus removal from domestic wastewater. Carbon removal and nitrification of the wastewater were secondary benefits to this process. The success of the process was found to be dependent on the attainment of proper anaerobic conditions at the start of each treatment cycle.

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