Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal for Liquid Dairy Manure
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Enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) has been widely used in municipal wastewater treatment, but no previous studies have examined the application of EBPR to treat dairy manure. This study was conducted to evaluate the (i) performance of pilot-scale EBPR systems treating liquid dairy manure, to balance the ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus in manure to meet crop nutrient requirements, (ii) effects of dissolved oxygen and solids retention time on the efficiency of EBPR, and (iii) effectiveness of gravity thickening for reducing the volume of harvested EBPR aerated mixed liquor. Two pilot-scale EBPR systems were used in this study. The ratio of the manure chemical oxygen demand expressed as volatile fatty acids to phosphorus used ranged from 18:1 to 45:1. The phosphorus removal efficiencies of the EBPR system were investigated at three solids retention times (4, 6 and 10 d), and three dissolved oxygen levels (3, 4 and 6 mg O2/L). The total phosphorus removal was highest (84%) at 10 d solids retention time and lowest (63%) at 4 d solids retention time. The sludge from the 6 d solids retention time tests had better sludge settling characteristics with a sludge volume index of 62 mL/g compared to 80 mL/g for the 4 d solids retention time. The EBPR system achieved 90% dissolved reactive phosphorus removal when the system was operated at 4 mg O2/L, and the ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus in effluent increased to about 5:1, which was higher than the normal ratio in dairy manure. On the other hand, phosphorus removal performance deteriorated when dissolved oxygen level was 3 mg O2/L. In the gravity thickening tests, 93-95 % total suspended solids (TSS) was removed from the settled supernatant, with 1.2 to 1.54 % total solids (TS) in the settled solids after 90 min gravity-induced thickening. The extent of phosphorus release during gravity thickening process needs to be further investigated.
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