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Lookup NU author(s): Daniel Leicester,
Professor Jaime Amezaga,
Dr Elizabeth Heidrich
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
© 2020 by the authors. Bioelectrochemical systems (BES) have the potential to deliver energy-neutral wastewater treatment. Pilot-scale tests have proven that they can operate at low temperatures with real wastewaters. However, volumetric treatment rates (VTRs) have been low, reducing the ability for this technology to compete with activated sludge (AS). This paper describes a pilot-scale microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) operated in continuous flow for 6 months. The reactor was fed return sludge liquor, the concentrated filtrate of anaerobic digestion sludge that has a high chemical oxygen demand (COD). The use of a wastewater with increased soluble organics, along with optimisation of the hydraulic retention time (HRT), resulted in the highest VTR achieved by a pilot-scale MEC treating real wastewater. Peak HRT was 0.5-days, resulting in an average VTR of 3.82 kgCOD/m3·day and a 55% COD removal efficiency. Finally, using the data obtained, a direct analysis of the potential savings from the reduced loading on AS was then made. Theoretical calculation of the required tank size, with the estimated costs and savings, indicates that the use of an MEC as a return sludge liquor pre-treatment technique could result in an industrially viable system.
Author(s): Leicester DD, Amezaga JM, Moore A, Heidrich ES
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Online publication date: 26/06/2020
Acceptance date: 24/06/2020
Date deposited: 13/07/2020
ISSN (electronic): 1420-3049
Publisher: MDPI AG
PubMed id: 32604914
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