Integrating an anaerobic Bio-nest and an aerobic EMMC process as pretreatment of dairy wastewater for reuse: a pilot plant study

Date
2009-04
Authors
Kongsil, Piyalerg
Irvine, Joshua Lelemia
Yang, Ping-Yi
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Abstract
A large dairy farm located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii was the site for an investigation for the potential integration of the existing facultative lagoon system with a cost effective pretreatment unit process. Based on the results from a laboratory study, a pilot plant was installed with two anaerobic bioreactors (10 m3 each) and one aerobic reactor (3.8 m3 ). Two layers of media ‘‘Bio-nest,’’ providing a void volume of 98%, were placed into each anaerobic bioreactor with 19% space-based on the bioreactor water volume. For better performance and reduction of shock-load, the equalization/settling tank was employed prior to the first anaerobic Bio-nest reactor. The intermediate holding tank settled effluent suspended solids from the Bio-nest reactor and adjusted the loading rate in order to improve the performance of the aerobic EMMC (entrapped mixed microbial cell) bioreactors. Based on the start-up operation of the Bio-nest system at an organic loading rate of about 1.5 g TCOD/l/day, the production rate of biogas from the first and second Bio-nest reactors was 0.64 and 0.15 l/l/day, respectively. This indicates that the anaerobic degradation of organics occurs mainly in the first Bio-nest reactor due to the low loading rate. The removal efficiency from the Bio-nest system shows TCOD removal of about 70%. The EMMC process provided fur- ther treatment to achieve a removal efficiency of TCOD at about 50% and a TN of about 35%. The cost for these pretreatments in order to be integrated with the existing lagoon system is US $1.1 per 1,000 gallons (3.8 m3) for dairy wastewater and $91 for each ton of TCOD removal. This integration system provides a sustainable improvement of environment and agricultural production.
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Keywords
Anaerobi Bio-nest, Biogas, Dairy wastewater, Entrapped mixed microbial cell, Existing lagoon
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