ANAEROBIC WASTEWATER TREATMENT MICROBIOLOGY

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1 ANAEROBIC WASTEWATER TREATMENT MICROBIOLOGY

2 ANAEROBIC WASTEWATER TREATMENT MICROBIOLOGY

3 Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment Microbiology A. Anaerobic treatment of organic maber Anaerobic digeseon 1. In the absence of O 2, organic maber is fermented to carbon dioxide and methane: 2CH 2 O > CH 4 + CO 2 2. More than 75% of treatment plants in the US use anaerobic digeseon to reduce the sludge yields, also energy produced. Sludge [though less of it] is sell produced. Some faciliees burn the sludge (costly), while other haul it away, e.g. landfill cover, off shore dump site, land applicaeon of 'biosolids'. 3. Also used directly for treatment of municipal wastewater, mostly in Europe, and for agriculture/farm wastes. In addieon, in Europe, used for high organic industrial wastes (e.g. canning/food wastes). 4. GeneraEng energy from refuse, 20 yrs ago energy crisis from fast growing plants, e.g. kelp; again being considered by USDA, DOE. 5. Municipal solid waste is 60 70% organic or carbon based. If all the refuse in the US were put into methane digesters 11 15% of the enere US energy consumpeon could be saesfied.

4 B. A number of anaerobic process designs are described in the literature. VariaEons are designed to largely to improve the operaeon of the process. 1. ConvenEonal flow through process θ = θc = 6 to 30 days 2. Anaerobic contact process θ = 0.5 several days 3. Anaerobic filter θ = few hours, θ c = ~100 days θ = 1/D = V/F θ = hydraulic deteneon Eme θ c = cell deteneon Eme 4. Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) Anaerobic fluidized bed (low strength wastewater) All of these can separate the hydraulic reten.on.me from the cell reten.on.me. This is more important when the process is being used for waste treatment rather than when it is used for solids or sludge reduceon.

5 1. ConvenEonal flow through process θ = θc = 6 to 30 days or ACTIVATED SLUDGE 2. Anaerobic contact process θ = 0.5 several days

6 3. Anaerobic filter θ = few hours, θ c = ~100 days simplest very stable relaevely low efficiency of COD removal clogging, channeling All these treatment designs separate θ from θ c 4. Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) Anaerobic fluidized bed (low strength wastewater) biofilm on sand good contact with waste no clogging hi biomass short θ high energy req. 5. Thin film bioreactor (preferred for industrial wastes)

7 C. Disadvantages of the anaerobic process almost all are related to the slow growth rate of anaerobic digester communiees, e.g. K s for aerobic treatment systems = 1 to 20 mg/l K s for anaerobic treatment systems = mg/l 1. Long deteneon Eme, days therefore, need a larger reactor cost factor. 2. Long start up period, up to several months 3. High sensievity to varying waste loads, toxic inputs, adjusts very slowly 4. Hence, upsets require very long Eme for recovery. 5. Process is very sensieve to ph, cannot drop below OpEmum at F, may need heaeng.

8 D. Advantages of the anaerobic process (go to next slide) 1. Lower yield of biological solids (sludge yield), e.g. Y = dx/ ds ae = equiv. cells formed/equiv.e donor consumed aerobic anaerobic glucose acetate domesec waste e.g. without oxygen, less energy available, less cells synthesized, but it also means less sludge to dispose of. What is a disadvantage for the cell is an advantage for the designed process.

9 MICROBIALLY MEDIATED OXIDATION-REDUCTION REACTIONS Electron donor reactions glucose C 6 H 12 O 6 } benzene C 6 H 6 } CO 2 + H 2 O (+ cells) toluene C 7 H 8 } xylenes C 8 H 10 }

10 2. Higher degree of 'waste stabilizaeon', e.g. higher mineralizaeon, e.g. higher COD, BOD removal, e.g. higher transformaeon from the organic to the inorganic. C 10 H 19 O 3 N H 2 O > C 5 H 7 O 2 N CH CO NH HCO 3 Compare to C 10 H 19 O 3 N + 9O 2 > C 5 H 7 O 2 N + 5CO 2 + H 2 O e.g. Most of the carbon has been transformed to CO 2 and CH 4, very lible remains in the organic form. Overall with anaerobic processes 80 90% of the waste is converted to gas or inorganic form and is 'stabilized'. In the above equaeon, more than 90% is converted compared to 50% in aerobic process. 3. lower N & P requirement since lower cell yield 4. No oxygen requirement, therefore, no need to aerate, not limited by oxygen transfer, important reduceon in cost. Note: mixing in anaerobic unit is to keep cells mixed, while mixing in aerobic units is much more vigorous in order to deliver oxygen. 5. ProducEon of a useful product, fuel methane, used to heat and run digester.

11 Conceptual Model (first described by Perry McCarty) CO 2, H 2 1. facultaeve microbes 2. no waste stabilizaeon 3. relaevely rapid process 4. co dependency 1. anaerobes 2. relaevely slow process 3. rate limieng part of process 4. co dependency This is a conceptual model, and not an actual 2 step process.

12 HCOO - CH 3 OH CH 3 NH 2 CH 3 COO -

13 Tracing the source of methane in an anaerobic digester CO 2, H 2 formate X methanol, formate methylamine, CO 2, H 2

14

15 DescripEon of overall process of anoxic decomposieon First described in anaerobic digesters 30 yrs earlier by an environmental engineer This is the same conceptual model Methanogens only use acetate & single C compounds Acetate is one of the most important C sources in anoxic habitats Methane cannot come from propionate Methane can account for 30 80% of C fixed through primary producevity in freshwater environments

16 4. Methane bacteria alot was known about them before they were separated into their own domain a) very sensieve to O 2, ox red poteneal < 300mV b) sensieve to ph, opemum = Below 6.2 digester will die. Hence, organic acids cannot get too high. c) slow growth d) limited number of species and their limited number of substrates 5. Source of methane a) methyl group cleavage *CH 3 COOH > *CH 4 + CO 2 acetate 4CH 3 OH > 3CH 4 + CO 2 + 2H 2 O b) CO 2 reduceon 4H 2 + CO 2 > 2H 2 O + CH 4 c) from propionate? CH 3 CH 2 COOH + 4H 2 O > 2HCOOH + CO 2 + 5H 2 propionate formate d) from formate HCOOH + 3H 2 > CH 4 + 2H 2 O

17 e) Methanobacterium omelianskii illustrates close syntrophic relaeonship interspecies hydrogen transfer 2CH 2 H 5 OH + CO 2 > 2CH 3 COOH + CH 4 Actually 2 reaceons mediated by 2 different organisms 2CH 2 H 5 OH + 2H 2 O > 2CH 3 COOH + 4H 2 4H 2 + CO 2 > 2H 2 O + CH 4 6. More difficult to operate Process is much less forgiving than aerobic process 1. Unbalance caused by sudden changes in temp., organic loading, waste character. 2. None of these things are good for any biological process, but anaerobic systems is much less forgiving and more sensieve to change because a) if one group is knocked out, a major proporeon of the organisms are affected and b) their slow growth rates mean that it is more difficult and slower to recover. 3. The 3 parameters to monitor are a) volaele acids buildup formate, acetate, propionate, butyrate, etc b) ph decrease c) hydrogen levels

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