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Optimisation of high rate algal ponds performance for post-treatment of upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor effluents

Abstract: Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors are widely used for wastewater treatment in tropical regions, yet the resulting effluent requires further post-treatment to meet the quality standards for a safe discharge or reuse. This study proposes a novel technology for the post-treatment of effluents from UASB reactors, high rate algal ponds (HRAP). Firstly, experimental data from two pilot HRAP treating the primary effluent from an UASB reactor was used to calibrate a mathematical biokinetic model (BIO_ALGAE). Then, different operational strategies were simulated by varying the HRAP hydraulic retention time (HRT) (4, 6, and 8 days) and footprint, water quality, and bioenergy production, considering a wastewater treatment plant of 10,000 population equivalent. Experimental results showed a removal efficiency of 70% for the chemical oxygen demand, 42% for total suspended-solids, 57% for ammonium nitrogen, and 30% for orthophosphate in the pilot plant. According to the calibrated model output, the quality of the effluent is similar with HRT of 6 and 8 days, but with a HRT of 4 days N removal would be compromised. Bearing in mind that the lower the HRT, the lower the footprint of the wastewater treatment plant, 6 days seems a important trade-off. The findings of this study are promising, presenting a new conception for treating effluents from UASB reactors. This could enhance the quality of wastewater treatment in tropical countries and suggest potential uses for the generated by-products.

 Autoría: Vassalle L., Rueda E., Passos F., Díez-Montero R., García J., Ferrer I.,

 Fuente: Biosystems Engineering, 2024, 243, 175-186

 Editorial: Elsevier

 Fecha de publicación: 01/07/2024

 Nº de páginas: 40

 Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2024.05.012

 ISSN: 1537-5129,1537-5110

 Url de la publicación: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2024.05.012