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High-rate anaerobic side-stream reactor (ASSR) processes to minimize the production of excess sludge

TitleHigh-rate anaerobic side-stream reactor (ASSR) processes to minimize the production of excess sludge
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsPark C, Chon D-H
JournalWater Environment Research
Start Page2090
Date Published12/2015
Keywordsactivated sludge, anaerobic side-stream reactor (ASSR), cations, EPS, excess sludge, protease

High-rate anaerobic side-stream reactor (ASSR) processes were developed to minimize excess sludge production during wastewater treatment. New ASSRs were operated in 2.5-day solids retention time (SRT), much shorter than 10-day SRT used by the commercial sludge reduction process. The 2.5-day was selected based on literature review and preliminary studies, showing that maximum solublization of key floc components, such as divalent cations, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), and protease, occur within 2 to 3 days of anaerobic digestion. The laboratory reactor study showed that 2.5-day ASSR systems produced approximately 60 and 20% less sludge than the control (no ASSR) and the 10-day ASSR, respectively. The experimental systems showed acceptable effluent quality, despite minimal sludge wastage. This was possible because sludge EPS were continuously released/degraded and regenerated as sludge underwent recirculation between ASSR and the aerobic basin. The results supported that the activated sludge process incorporating small ASSRs significantly decrease the production of excess sludge during wastewater treatment.