Simultaneous precipitation (SP) using iron sulfates in the secondary treatment of elemental chlorine-free (ECF) kraft pulp mill wastewater was studied. In short-term pilot plant studies phosphorus reduction was improved from 58% up to 81% by adding 10 mgFe/L ferrous sulfate in the activated sludge (AS) process. The phosphorus reduction in full-scale experiment was about 80% when less than 10 mgFe/L was fed in with the influent of the AS plant. The reduction of phosphorus decreased with the dose of iron during the three month experiment. No notable change in either chemical oxygen demand (COD) or adsorbable organic halogen (AOX) reduction nor in the properties of sludge settling were observed during this SP experiment. Furthermore, no problems in sludge treatment due to increased iron concentrations in the waste sludge were reported. SP offers a simple way to decrease phosphorus discharges from AS plants instead of reliance on more expensive tertiary treatments.

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