A new process has been developed to reduce excess sludge production, in which both excess sludge digestion and wastewater treatment are conducted simultaneously in the same aeration tank. The ozonation enhances biological degradation of the activated sludge, which is decomposed in a subsequent biological treatment. A considerable amount of biomass is mineralized biologically in proportion to the amount of recirculated biomass from the ozonation stage to the biological stage. It was observed that the amount of excess sludge is reduced to nearly zero when 1.2 kg/m3-aeration tank volume of biomass is recirculated in a day from the biological stage to the ozonation stage at a BOD loading of 1.0 kg/m3/d. A biomass concentration of 4200 mg/L was maintained at 1.0 kg-BOD/m3/d without drawing excess sludge for 6 weeks of experimental period under ozone dose of 0.05 g-O3/g-SS and recirculation rate at 0.3 d−1. Only a limited difference in the effluent quality was observed between the new process and the conventional activated sludge process.

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