Mono- and Di- hydroxyl amines are used in the desulfuration processes for refined petroleum products. The refinery wastewater treatment plant may be shocked by amine laden wastewater periodically, bringing operation difficulties to the biological treatment units. Data on the treatability, shock load behaviour and on long term system stability of biological treatment of amines are therefore required. Shake-flask test results showed that pure diethanol amine and diisopropanol amines have characteristics of persistent compounds. Each of the two compounds has a prolonged lag time when first inoculated with indigenous activated sludge. Acclimated activated sludge in a continuous flow reactor treated a feed of ethanol amine with a 93 percent COD removal and a 98 percent nitrification, but the system was unstable because amine caused a bulking sludge. By physical retention of the activated sludge, 550 mg/l influent COD of amines was treated to m1 average 50 mg/l effluent COD. Sludge yield was approximately 0.26 mg MLSS per mg COD. The activated sludge system withstood a chm1ge of feed to a real refinery wastewater laden with the; amine. A mean cell residence time above five (5) days should be maintained for safe treatment of; amine.

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