More than a decade of experience of landfill leachate treatment with a full-scale anammox plant combining activated sludge and activated carbon biofilm

Mohammad Azari*, Uwe Walter, Volker Rekers, Ji Dong Gu, Martin Denecke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

The performance of biological treatment for high ammonium removal from landfill leachate has been demonstrated. The plant was upgraded combining the activated sludge process followed by activated carbon reactor. Based on a long-term analysis of data collected from 2006 to 2015, the average total nitrogen removal efficiency of 94% was achieved for wastewaters with a C: N ratio varying from 1 to 5 kg-COD kg-TN−1. But without the presence of activated carbon reactor, the average of biological removal efficiency for total nitrogen was only 82% ± 6% for the activated sludge stage. It means that up to 20% of the nitrogen in the influent can only be eliminated by microorganisms attached to granular activated carbon. After upgrades of the plant, the energy efficiency showed a reduction in the specific energy demand from 1.6 to less than 0.2 kWh m−3. Methanol consumption and sludge production was reduced by 91% and 96%, respectively. Fluorescent in situ Hybridization was used for microbial diversity analysis on floccular sludge and granular biofilm samples. Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) bacteria and nitrifiers were detected and Candidatus Scalindua was found in two forms of flocs and biofilms. Due to stochastic risk assessment based on the long-term data analysis given in this research, the treatment criteria were achieved and the combination of granular activated carbon biofilm process and activated sludge can be a novel and sought approach to better enrich anammox biomass for full-scale treatment applications to reduce operating costs and promote nutrient removal stability and efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalChemosphere
Volume174
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Activated sludge
  • Anammox
  • Biofilm
  • Ca. Scalindua
  • Granular activated carbon
  • Risk assessment

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