Effect of Activated Sludge Preservation on Its Adsorption Capacity in Treatment of Wastewater

Miriam Tsiboe, Emma Haun, Karl-Heinz Rosenwinkel, Julius Musyoka Ndambuki


Adsorption by activated sludge which plays a significant role in substrate removal has received a lot of recognition. A number of studies have been conducted into understanding this mechanism. However, the impact of activated sludge preservation on the adsorption capacity test results has not been documented. Live activated sludge is usually preserved after sampling to maintain the original sludge characteristics in order not to alter its adsorption capacity. Preservation of the sludge is relevant when the sludge has to be transported over long distances before adsorption experiments can be conducted. This paper seeks to present the effects of preservation of activated sludge on its adsorption capacity. The preservation methods considered were pre-aeration and cold-storage of the sludge. Sludge samples were pre-aerated for periods of 4 and 24 hours at room temperature and some were stored at 4?C for 6 hours. Adsorption batch experiments were then carried out on both fresh and preserved activated sludge samples. Glucose was used as an external substrate in these experiments. The results revealed a difference between the adsorption capacity of the fresh and preserved sludge samples. Sludge pre-aeration increased the adsorption capacity of the sludge. There was however, no significant difference in the adsorption capacities for 4h and 24h pre-aerated sludge samples. Adsorption capacity of the 6h cold-stored activated sludge was poor compared to that of the fresh sludge.

Keywords: Activated sludge, Activated sludge preservation, Adsorption capacity, Glucose

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5790 ISSN (Online)2225-0514

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