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Aerobic Treatment for Organic Carbon Removal from Dairy Wastewater using a Sequencing Batch Reactor

Eisa, Mohammad (2017) Aerobic Treatment for Organic Carbon Removal from Dairy Wastewater using a Sequencing Batch Reactor. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Dairy wastewater contains a high concentration of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). A private dairy processing company in Western Australia pays a high cost (AUD $0.8 million) for an acidic dairy (pH 5.25) effluent disposal. The main cost was associated with the BOD concentration (1650 mg/L) in the dairy effluent. A bench scale sequencing batch reactor (SBR) was assembled and operated at Murdoch University, Western Australia. This SBR was used to test the aerobic degradability of a real dairy wastewater by activated sludge culture and to evaluate the treatability of the acidic effluent by using a computer controlled SBR.

Results of the system showed that the acidic dairy effluent was readily biodegradable. Operating a SBR at hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 10, 12, 17 and 24 hours with an oxygen set point of 3 mg/L resulted in a BOD removal efficiency of 89%, 93%, 98% and 90% respectively. The system was operated with different cycle durations of 3, 6 and 12 hours for a period of 30 days at a temperature of (20-25 °C).

The best removal efficiency of BOD (95%) was obtained at 17 hours HRT and 6 hour cycle duration with an oxygen set point of 3 mg/L. However, using shorter hydraulic retention times (10 hours in this study) removed less BOD (89 %) but minimised capital costs, and was more cost effective.

It could be possible to replace the SBR with a recently published concept, known as a Sequencing Batch Biofilm Reactor (SBBR). This technology ould avoid more than 80% of the aeration-associated costs. This would likely be a more feasible treatment process, but was not able to be tested within this study.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Cord-Ruwisch, Ralf
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