Activated sludge process coupled with intermittent ozonation for sludge yield reduction and effluent water quality control



BACKGROUND: Ozone is applied in wastewater treatment for effluent water quality improvement (post-ozonation) as well as for excess sludge reduction (in the recirculation line). There is some evidence that ozone dosed directly to aerobic biooxidation (ABO) process enhances degradation of recalcitrant compounds into intermediates, following their biodegradation in the same reactor. However, no information regarding the influence of ozone on sludge yield in this system was found. Therefore, the current work aimed to evaluate the effect of ozone on the sludge yield when ozone is dosed directly to the ABO process. In addition, batch and continuous treatment schemes for phenolic wastewater treatment are compared.

RESULTS: The results revealed that an optimal ozone dose of ∼30 mgO3 L−1 day−1 reduced the sludge yield by ∼50%, while effluent water quality in terms of total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD), compared with a conventional ABO process, was improved by 35.5 ± 3.6%. Slight improvement in soluble COD removal at the same ozone dose was also detected. The toxicity of effluent water was reduced as the ozone dose was increased.

CONCLUSIONS: In an integrated ozonation-ABO process it is possible to simultaneously reduce sludge yield and to improve effluent water quality, as COD and toxicity are reduced. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry