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Wastewater Treatment Optimization with Micronutrients

Reducing Costs and Improving Operations

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Derk Maat and published in the ES&E magazine in October 2014

To see the full article click here: Environmental Science and Engineering Article Sept Oct 2014

Specific plant-based organic micronutrients have been demonstrated to stimulate many types of bacteria.  The technology has been used worldwide to reduce energy costs associated with oxygen supply to the bacteria, decrease sludge generation, reduce odours and improve treatment efficiency.  Micronutrients have been effectively applied in WWTPs that range in size from high capacity municipal and industrial plants to very small, low-flow package ones, as well as many holding tank and waste storage/portable toilet applications.

Wastewater Aeration

Once these micronutrients are made available to the biological community in wastewater, metabolic rates of specific bacteria populations are dramatically increased.

The beneficial impact of micronutrients is most significant for facultative anaerobic populations. The micronutrients enable facultative anaerobes to actively break down organics in the non-aerated portions of WWTPs  that are not typically designed to function as reactors, such as equalization or settling tanks.  This makes the entire plant more efficient.  As a result, a much greater proportion of acetic acid is converted by faculative anaerobes to atmospheric gases, instead of additional biosolids.  This also results in a significantly lower oxygen demand in aerobic bioreators because a significant portion of the acetic acid load is diverted from the pure aerobes to the facultative anaerobes.

The net effect is lower volumes of sludge/biosolids requiring processing and disposal, and a lower energy demand for aeration.  Facilities using this approach have experienced a reduction in the volume of biosolids/sludge requiring disposal and in energy costs in excess of 25%.  The net cost savings to the treatment plant typically range from $1.50 to $2 for every $1 spent on organic micronutrients.

To read the complete article go to: Environmental Science and Engineering Article Sept Oct 2014