SAF Optimisation Data Shared at Wastewater Conference
Oct 26, 2020
Data from a study to improve optimisation of SAF wastewater treatment systems is the focus of a presentation from WPL that took place at the 2020 European Water & Wastewater Management conference on 13-14 October.
SAF treatment is traditionally viewed as a high cost process due to the energy requirement in delivering high volumes of air and is generally not considered for larger schemes. Adequate oxygen is essential to ensure that bacteria in the wastewater does not break down odour-free compounds into odorous compounds.
Data featured in the presentation, which took place on day-two of the virtual event, comes from an ongoing programme of study at Southern Water’s Petersfield wastewater treatment plant. It shows that precise control of the process means SAFs can biologically remove nutrients much more efficiently.
Biofilm formation on specific media primarily depends on the mass transport of nutrients across their surfaces and their subsequent conversion to odour-free compounds through aeration.
Varying the aeration rate affects the movement of neutrally buoyant media, oxygen transfer rates, flow conditions and the way biomass adheres to and shears off surfaces. This can significantly reduce power consumption per person equivalent treated.
Excessive or inadequate aeration can lead to operational problems for the treatment process including a high sludge volume index (SVI) resulting from biofilm and floc breakup or ineffective treatment of ammonia during high loading of the plant.
“At the heart of WPL’s Hybrid SAFTM technology are unique flow characteristics that have been patented,” Baird explained. “These ensure an even and continuous flow of nutrients up through the submerged, moving bed.
“The slowly circulating media gradually descend due to their increasing specific gravity from hosting growing biomass. Using gravity in this way, opposed to using energy, results in a significant reduction in power consumption, improving overall efficiency and enabling a reduction in site footprint and a deployment of a more compact unit.”
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