Start-up of aerobic granular sludge (AGS) reactors inoculated with granular sludge from a full-scale plant Comparison of organics and nutrients removal from synthetic wastewater and granule development in lab-scale AGS sequencing batch reactors

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Examensarbete för masterexamen
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2021
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Ardiati, Fenny Clara
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Aerobic granular sludge (AGS) has shown to be a promising sustainable technology for wastewater treatment due to compact treatment, energy-efficient and its ability to treat different contaminants such as organic matter, nutrients, and xenobiotic compounds, including pharmaceuticals. The present study aimed to evaluate the AGS development and process performances during the start-up period by using AGS as the inoculum. Three lab-scale sequencing batch reactors (R0, R1, R2) were used and fed by complex synthetic wastewater: two reactors (R0 and R1) were dosed with pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs). The results showed that the start-up period which lasted for 44 days was limited by nitrogen removal and low biomass concentration in all reactors. Despite the disturbance of operational conditions during the operation, granulation was observed and good settling properties with SVI15/SVI5 ratio > 0.9, SVI5 of 29−79 mL/g, and average diameter of 2.2−3.67 mm was maintained. Dense and compact granules were predominant in R0 and R1 while R2 had fluffy and loose structured granules. An average of 86−89% TOC removal, 57−100% TP removal, and 51−62% TN removal was observed. It can be concluded that AGS seeding sludge indeed contributed to a rapid AGS start-up with no acclimation period of TOC and TP removal and increasing granule sizes which are beneficial for conversion processes. Further research such as a cycle study and optimization of operational conditions are recommended for better understanding of the conversion processes and optimal AGS performance.
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aerobic granular sludge, seeding, reactor start-up, nutrients removal, pharmaceutical wastewater, sequencing batch reactors
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