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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Decentralised black water treatment by combined auto-thermal aerobic digestion and ammonia - A pilot study optimising treatment capacity

Nordin, A.; Gottert, D.; Vinneras, B.

Abstract

Partial heating of black water by auto-thermal aerobic digestion was combined with the addition of 1% w/w urea and monitoring of pathogens and indicator organisms over a 21-day period. After initial mixing, the 160 m(3) black water (60 m(3) heated and 100 m(3) non-heated) was left undisturbed. The urea was confirmed to be fully degraded into ammonia (5.1 g N L-1) first after 14 days, while the pH stabilised at around 9.2 after one week. The initial temperature of 17 degrees C fell by 6 degrees C during the study. E. colt and Salmonella spp., which are sensitive to ammonia, were inactivated during the first few days of the study, despite the urea only being partly hydrolysed. At day 14, f-RNA bacteriophages could also no longer be detected. The more persistent somatic coliphages, Enterococcus spp. and Ascaris eggs, showed significant but slow inactivation. The treatment proved to be efficient with regards to salmonella, which is a target pathogen in the Swedish context, but for parasite egg inactivation a higher temperature was required. The treatment would benefit from more frequent stirring to speed up the hydrolysis of urea and thus improve treatment efficiency. The alternative treatment scheme could increase capacity by 2.4 times, albeit with a 40% higher cost per volume due to the increased use of urea. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords

Ammonia; Auto-thermal aerobic digestion; Black water; Pathogen; Urea; Sanitisation

Published in

Journal of Environmental Management
2018, Volume: 207, pages: 313-318
Publisher: ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD