Biological Treatment of Wastewater

Biological treatment of wastewater is a process that uses microorganisms to break down organic matter and pollutants in wastewater. It is one of the most common and effective methods of wastewater treatment, as it can remove up to 90% of the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and suspended solids (SS) from the wastewater.

There are two main types of biological treatment: aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic treatment involves supplying oxygen to the microorganisms, which use it to oxidize the organic matter and produce carbon dioxide, water, and biomass. Anaerobic treatment involves creating an oxygen-free environment for the microorganisms, which use other electron acceptors such as nitrate, sulfate, or carbon dioxide to degrade the organic matter and produce methane, hydrogen sulfide, and biomass.

The choice of biological treatment depends on several factors, such as the characteristics of the wastewater, the availability of oxygen, the space and energy requirements, and the desired quality of the effluent. Aerobic treatment is more suitable for wastewater with high BOD and low solids content, as it can achieve a higher degree of purification and reduce odors. Anaerobic treatment is more suitable for wastewater with high solids content and low BOD, as it can reduce the volume of sludge and generate biogas that can be used as a renewable energy source.

Biological treatment can be performed in different types of reactors, such as activated sludge systems, trickling filters, rotating biological contactors, anaerobic digesters, anaerobic baffled reactors, upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors, and membrane bioreactors. Each reactor has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of performance, cost, operation, and maintenance.

Biological treatment of wastewater is a sustainable and environmentally friendly way of managing wastewater. It can reduce the pollution load on the receiving water bodies, protect public health and ecosystems, and recover valuable resources such as nutrients and energy from the wastewater.

Do you have questions about the biological treatment of wastewater? Contact Custom Biologicals today!

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