Parallel laboratory investigations were conducted to examine aspects of two distinct but related bioprocess strategies for low sludge production in the treatment of the same TCF kraft pulp mill effluent. The purpose of this article has been to compare the performance results from these two bench-scale trials with respect to nutrient demands, nutrient discharge, COD removal, and waste sludge characteristics. The LSP (Low Sludge Production) process can be used to significantly reduce sludge yield with excellent sludge characteristics. These sludge characteristics seemed to be related to elevated protozoan grazing pressures. The BAS (Biofilm-Activated Sludge) process achieves similar reduced sludge yields and sludge characteristics while at the same time significantly reducing the nutrient demands and discharge levels. For both LSP and BAS process optimization, the selector nutrient loading is critical to the overall process performance. Selector nutrient requirements are distinct from the overall process nutrient requirements.

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