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UBC Theses and Dissertations

RBC treatment of a municipal landfill leachate : a pilot scale evaluation Peddie, Craig Cameron


This study evaluated the on-site treatment of a moderately low strength municipal landfill leachate with a Rotating Biological Contactor (RBC), at pilot scale (0.9 m dia.). The leachate generally had COD and NH₃-N concentrations of less than 1000 mg/L and 50 mg/L respectively. A high treatment efficiency for both carbon removal and nitrification was achieved despite variable and intermittent loading conditions. The effluent filtrable BOD₅ was generally less than 10 mg/L and the effluent NH₃-N concentration was usually less than 1.0 mg/L. This effluent quality was achieved at mass loading levels comparable to those for sewage treatment (10.0 g BOD₅/m²*d for carbon removal and 0.8 g NH₃-N/m²*d for nitrification). The results demonstrated that long hydraulic retention times (HRT >4 hrs.) can offset the effects of lower temperatures. Nitrification efficiency in particular was shown to be HRT dependent. Limited heavy metal data indicated that heavy metals were removed at efficiencies and relative affinities comparable to those observed in activated sludge studies. An aside to this study showed that trace organics, some of which are on the EPA priority pollutant list, were present in this leachate and were effectively removed during passage through the RBC.

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