Phosphorus stimulates aquatic plant growth and contributes to eutrophication process in rivers, lakes and the ocean. A large part of phosphorus is discharged into the receiving waters by wastewater. One of the solutions of this problem is represented by chemical precipitation. Simultaneous precipitation of phosphorus from wastewater with metal salts is commonly applied. Metal salts are dosed directly into aeration tank, and produced precipitates are wasted as a part of the secondary sludge. Thus, not only aerobic and anoxic processes of wastewater treatment plant are carried out in the presence of precipitant metals and precipitates but also the precipitates are, in many cases, accumulated in anaerobic sludge digesters. Operational research of phosphorus precipitation in lab‐scale encompasses the impact of Fe2+, Fe3+ and Al3+ salts on biological nitrification and denitrification processes, sedimentation and thickening characteristics of sludge as well as anaerobic sludge stabilisation processes. The measurements of specific oxygen uptake rate, nitrification and denitrification tests and monitoring of effluent values of quality standards were applied to evaluate the processes performance. Other objective of our research is to contribute to methodology for examination of thickening and dewatering characteristics of sludge with tested precipitation agents. Mathematically processed experimental results are used to compare sedimentation, precipitation and dewatering characteristics of activated sludge cultivated in the presence of selected precipitation agents. Better description of the experimental results was obtained with three parameters model of particles mass flow density curve. Comparison of minimum sedimentation tank size necessary for gravitational separation of individual sludge was used to examine sedimentation characteristics of activated sludge. Thickening characteristics of sludge were evaluated based upon thickening area needed to maintain the required sludge concentration in activated sludge model, which corresponds to maximum surface load in undissolved substances. Chemical precipitation of phosphorus produces metal precipitates. These are transported with the waste sludge to the digestion tanks. Impact of the precipitates on the anaerobic sludge stabilisation process as well as on the sludge water quality was tested in the work. The main aim of the research and proposed chapter submission is a pursuit of decision making regarding selection of type of precipitating agent and strategy of chemical phosphorus precipitation.
Part of the book: Operations Research