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Investigation of activated sludge bioflocculation : influence of magnesium ions

Turtin, İpek
Activated sludge systems are the most widely used biological wastewater treatment processes all over the world. The main working principles of an activated sludge system are the oxidation of biologically degradable wastes by microorganisms and the subsequent separation of the newly formed biomass from the treated effluent. Separation by settling is the most troublesome stage of an activated sludge process. A decrease in the efficiency of the separation of microbial biomass from the treated effluent causes a decrease in the overall efficiency of the treatment plant. The efficiency of the separation process is related to the bioflocculation, which can be briefly defined as the aggregation of the bacteria into flocs through flocculation. Bioflocculation depends on the extracellular polymers (EPS) that are produced by microorganisms. The operating conditions of the activated sludge system is a key determinant of the synthesis of EPS and bioflocculation. The main objective of this study is to find out the effect of magnesium ions on the bioflocculation process under phosphorus deficient and sufficient conditions. In order to achieve this aim, the effects of magnesium ion in 4 different concentrations (0.9, 5, 10 and 20 meq/L) are investigated in semi continuous reactors. The reactors are operated at a mean cell residence time of 8 days and 20ð C temperature. When reactors are confirmed to be at steady state, several sets of analysis are conducted. In particular, the surface chemical parameters including EPS and its components, electrical charge, and hydrophobicity as well as physical properties such as settlability, filterability, viscosity, floc strength, and turbidity are examined. It has been understood that phosphorus deficiency causes severe filamentous bulking under magnesium rich conditions. Increasing the phosphorus concentration in the influent can cure this