A fluidized-pellet-bed separator with movable sludge hoppers was applied in pilot scale for the separation and thickening of activated sludge mixture liquid. Under the condition of suspension SS around 4,000 mg/L, polymer (CJX103, cationic, MW 5 × 106) dose at a dry solid ratio of 0.003 and upward flow rate at 5.4 m/hr, the fluidized pellet bed performed solid/liquid separation and sludge thickening well. The SS concentration of the treated water was about 5 mg/L on average and the moisture content of the sludge after screening for 5 min was less than 94%, which is much lower than that after conventional settling and thickening and easy to be finally disposed. At a higher upward flow rate of 7.2 m/hr, similar results could also be obtained but higher polymer dose (solid ratio of 0.004) was required. The morphological characteristics and density-size relationship of the granular particles formed in the fluidized pellet bed were also investigated by image analysis and settling velocity measurement of individual particles. The two-dimensional fractal dimension was evaluated to be 1.6-1.8, showing a good quasi-spherical morphology of the granular particles with their density much higher than the conventional flocs. The results of the pilot study indicate a possible way to innovate the conventional secondary settling and gravitational thickening processes for solid/liquid separation and sludge handling, especially for small scale wastewater treatment plants to reach the goal of space saving and higher treatment efficiency.

This content is only available as a PDF.