The impact of sea salt on the aeration coefficient kLa of fine-bubble aeration systems was investigated in clean water and in a model substance for simulating activated sludge. The investigations were carried out at laboratory and pilot scale. Sea salt was dosed in the form of artificial seawater, real seawater or simplified, by adding NaCl. The investigated media showed an increase of kLa with rising sea salt concentrations up to 10 g/L. The ratio between kLa and sea salt concentration is impaired by the air flow rate and the type of applied diffusers. Literature data show that the favourable effect of sea salt on kLa can also be found in the activated sludge of conventional municipal wastewater treatment plants. The results of this study allow the derivation of salt correction equations to be used in the design of fine-bubble aeration systems for taking into account the favourable impact of sea salt on kLa. By that means, a more precise design of respective systems will be enabled.

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