Minimization of sludge production by a side-stream reactor under anoxic conditions in a pilot plant

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This study evaluates the application of an anoxic side-stream reactor in the sludge return line of a conventional activated sludge system for the reduction of biomass production. The oxidation-reduction potential was maintained at -150mV while the applied sludge loading rate was modified by changing the percentage of return sludge treated in this reactor. The observed yield from the conventional system (0.513kg VSSkg-1 COD) was continuously reduced when the portion of return sludge treated was increased. A maximum reduction of 18.3% of the observed yield was obtained treating the whole sludge return line. The sludge age maintained through the experiment. The organic matter removal was not deteriorated, even improved, by the proposed plant modification. Thus, simply applying an anoxic side-stream reactor would decrease the final volume of waste sludge while maintaining the sludge retention time and would, in fact, decrease the economic costs in terms of sludge handling ​
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