Upscaling the Zeolite-Anammox Process Treatment of Anaerobic Digester Filtrate
Upscaling the Zeolite-Anammox Process: Treatment of Anaerobic Digester Filtrate
Robert S. Collison and Mark E. Grismer
State regulatory and other agencies identified that nitrogen loading from the wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) discharging around its periphery has adversely affected the San Francisco Bay (SFB) water quality. Here we consider the upscaling of the zeolite-anammox process treatment to nitrogen removal from relatively high-ammonia content (~500 NH3-N mg/L) anaerobic-digester (AD) filtrate to facilitate reductions in WWTP nitrogen discharge.
First, by operating a 210 L barrel reactor as a trickling filter with a 10% by volume initial bio-zeolite seeding fraction, we found that 6–8 weeks elapsed before the anammox activity became apparent. Moreover, the 10-mm zeolite aggregate reactor achieved an 89% ammonia-N removal compared to the 85% achieved by the 20-mm aggregate. We then evaluated the performance of the trickling-filter design in a 68 m3Baker tank nearly filled with 20-mm zeolite aggregate seeded with bio-zeolite at about 1.5% by volume.
At an average inflow of 42 m3/day, about one year elapsed before achieving adequate anammox activity and acceptable treatment. Unfortunately, inadequate suspended solids pre-treatment of the AD filtrate resulted in clogging problems in the Baker tank reactor, so we evaluated aerobic-anaerobic cycling within the tank and then operated it (anaerobically) as a nitrate-scavenging tank. In the final anaerobic operational stage, nitrate effluent concentrations were