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postgraduate thesis: Formation and stability of aerobic granular sludge in biological wastewater treatment

TitleFormation and stability of aerobic granular sludge in biological wastewater treatment
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Li, XY
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Li, Y. [李贇]. (2013). Formation and stability of aerobic granular sludge in biological wastewater treatment. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5194763
AbstractAerobic sludge granulation is a new technology that has been developed for biological wastewater treatment. Compared with conventional activated sludge, aerobic granules allow better sludge-water separation and a higher biomass concentration. However, the mechanism of the transformation from sludge flocs to granular sludge under the aerobic condition is still unclear. Deterioration of aerobic granules in long-term operation is also a concern for its scale-up application. The present study was conducted to investigate the crucial factors for aerobic granulation and its underlying mechanism. In addition, the stability of aerobic granules under unfavorable conditions and the recovery of deteriorated granules in bioreactors were also studied. For formation of aerobic granules, gelation-facilitated biofilm growth was proposed as a new mechanism for the granulation process. Simulation of granule formation was performed in a well-controlled chemical system to provide an experimental proof for the proposed aerobic granulation theory. Granule formation was achieved in a particle suspension with latex microspheres for bacterial cells and alginate and peptone for extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), together with the cation addition and floc discharge. In the mixture with the dosing of alginate and a small amount of peptone, artificial gels and granules could be well formed, and the artificial granules share the similar micro-structure as the aerobic bacterial granules. However, as the dose of peptone increased, gels were not formed and only large particle flocs were produced. The formation of artificial granules proves that effective EPS interactions with cations and the subsequent gelation are crucial to aerobic granulation in bioreactors. In relation to granulation, the effect of the substrate feeding pattern on the microbial yield was tested. The results show that the bioreactor with a more frequent substrate feeding interval had a lower sludge yield than the reactor (0.45 vs. 0.55) with a less frequent feeding. The sludge fed less frequently was able to store more substrates as intracellular substances, resulting in more biomass growth. Moreover, a long feeding interval would force the biomass into the feast-famine regime, which was found to enhance microbial growth and granulation, producing granules with a compact and stable structure. For the stability of aerobic granules, various factors that would been countered in biological wastewater treatment were experimented. The results show that granules deteriorated in structure under unfavorable conditions, such as a low solution pH (pH~6.0), a high loading rate, and feed of starch instead of glucose into the bioreactors. In some deterioration cases, filamentous bacterial growth became more dominant and the granules became loose and fluffy flocs. Compared to mature granules, fresh granules were less stable and more vulnerable to the unfavorable conditions. As the granules deteriorated in structure, their surface roughness values increased considerably from 35 or less to more than 230. Under a favorable condition with a feed of sodium acetate, the deteriorated granules could be recovered in some reactors. However, deterioration of the granules caused by filamentous growth at a low pH or high loading rate could hardly be recovered.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectSewage - Purification - Microbial granulation process
Dept/ProgramCivil Engineering
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/197519

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorLi, XY-
dc.contributor.authorLi, Yun-
dc.contributor.author李贇-
dc.date.accessioned2014-05-27T23:16:40Z-
dc.date.available2014-05-27T23:16:40Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationLi, Y. [李贇]. (2013). Formation and stability of aerobic granular sludge in biological wastewater treatment. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5194763-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/197519-
dc.description.abstractAerobic sludge granulation is a new technology that has been developed for biological wastewater treatment. Compared with conventional activated sludge, aerobic granules allow better sludge-water separation and a higher biomass concentration. However, the mechanism of the transformation from sludge flocs to granular sludge under the aerobic condition is still unclear. Deterioration of aerobic granules in long-term operation is also a concern for its scale-up application. The present study was conducted to investigate the crucial factors for aerobic granulation and its underlying mechanism. In addition, the stability of aerobic granules under unfavorable conditions and the recovery of deteriorated granules in bioreactors were also studied. For formation of aerobic granules, gelation-facilitated biofilm growth was proposed as a new mechanism for the granulation process. Simulation of granule formation was performed in a well-controlled chemical system to provide an experimental proof for the proposed aerobic granulation theory. Granule formation was achieved in a particle suspension with latex microspheres for bacterial cells and alginate and peptone for extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), together with the cation addition and floc discharge. In the mixture with the dosing of alginate and a small amount of peptone, artificial gels and granules could be well formed, and the artificial granules share the similar micro-structure as the aerobic bacterial granules. However, as the dose of peptone increased, gels were not formed and only large particle flocs were produced. The formation of artificial granules proves that effective EPS interactions with cations and the subsequent gelation are crucial to aerobic granulation in bioreactors. In relation to granulation, the effect of the substrate feeding pattern on the microbial yield was tested. The results show that the bioreactor with a more frequent substrate feeding interval had a lower sludge yield than the reactor (0.45 vs. 0.55) with a less frequent feeding. The sludge fed less frequently was able to store more substrates as intracellular substances, resulting in more biomass growth. Moreover, a long feeding interval would force the biomass into the feast-famine regime, which was found to enhance microbial growth and granulation, producing granules with a compact and stable structure. For the stability of aerobic granules, various factors that would been countered in biological wastewater treatment were experimented. The results show that granules deteriorated in structure under unfavorable conditions, such as a low solution pH (pH~6.0), a high loading rate, and feed of starch instead of glucose into the bioreactors. In some deterioration cases, filamentous bacterial growth became more dominant and the granules became loose and fluffy flocs. Compared to mature granules, fresh granules were less stable and more vulnerable to the unfavorable conditions. As the granules deteriorated in structure, their surface roughness values increased considerably from 35 or less to more than 230. Under a favorable condition with a feed of sodium acetate, the deteriorated granules could be recovered in some reactors. However, deterioration of the granules caused by filamentous growth at a low pH or high loading rate could hardly be recovered.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshSewage - Purification - Microbial granulation process-
dc.titleFormation and stability of aerobic granular sludge in biological wastewater treatment-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5194763-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineCivil Engineering-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5194763-

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