The ultimate disposal of biosolids has been and continues to be one of the most expensive problems faced by wastewater utilities. The objective of this research is to develop a process configuration for reducing the waste sludge generation in an activated sludge plant by promoting cryptic growth conditions (i.e., biomass growth on intracellular products). For this purpose, excess biosolids from a continuous flow activated sludge system were solubilized using ozone as the cell lysis agent, and then returned to the aeration tank. It is hypothesized that growth under such cryptic conditions will result in low net microbial yields, and hence, minimal net solids wastage. The results of these preliminary studies indicate that the proposed process configuration has the potential to reduce the waste sludge production by 40% to 60%.

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