Monitoring and reduction of emissions from wastewater biological treatment

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Any process with flow of wastewater and sludge (such as lifting, grating, sand removal, sedimentation, oil removal, oxidation tanks, overflow, etc.), represents a potential source of aerosol production; its composition depends on the quality of the source matrix and the operating conditions of the process itself.
Among the main components potentially present in the aerosol of an urban waste water treatment plant, we can mention greenhouse gases (GHG), inorganic and organic compounds (VOC - Volatile Organic Compounds), bioaerosol, particulates and emerging micropollutants adsorbed to it.


Planned activities within PerFORM WATER 2030

The experimental activities regarding monitoring and reduction of emissions from wastewater biological treatment are part of the Water research line included in PerFORM WATER 2030.
The planned activities include include the study of its components and the evaluation of possible process optimizations in order to reduce the emissions themselves in terms of: greenhouse gas (GHG), organic (VOC) and inorganic compounds, bioaerosol, particulates and emerging micropollutants adsorbed to it.
The study intends to compare the emissions of an activated sludge process fed by air with one fed with pure oxygen, evaluate the particulate components at different heights from the free surface of mixed liquor and evaluate the impact of emissions on the site.

Objectives and expected results

  • Comparison of the biological process with activated air sludge with the same with pure oxygen.

  • Positive effect of pure oxygen on the pollutant removal process in terms of activated sludge quality and emissions.

Description of the activities

  • Revamping of a disused tank as oxidation basin with activated sludge and design of the pure oxygen transfer system.

  • Start-up, operation and monitoring of the pure oxygen biological reactor, working in parallel with the air reactor and different operating conditions, in order to optimize the process.

  • Monthly and three-months sampling campaigns of matrices: wastewater, activated sludge, aero-disperse particulates, bioaerosol and aeriform components such as greenhouse gases and VOC at different points of the Site.

Pilot site

The experimental activities will be located at San Giuliano Milanese West WWTP (Wastewater treatment plant) operated by CAP Group.
For further information, please refer to the specific web-page dedicated to demonstration sites of PerFORM WATER 2030.

Partners involved

S.I.A.D. S.p.A. proposes the activity, the setting and the planning of the work, chooses the pure oxygen transfer system and follows the installation and management of the process as well as all the sampling and analysis activities on the different matrices including the collected data processing.
CAP Group makes available the Site and carry out the design and realization of revamping of the tank to be used as biological process in activated sludge with pure oxygen.
IRSA-CNR executes analysis of emerging and non-emerging micropollutants, both on the effluent entering the pilot plant and on the treated effluent exiting the pilot plant.

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