Development and validation of a new waste water treatment system through the optimization of the aeration
The goal of the project is to develop a new operational plan for the WWTPs, consisting in the change of the aeration method based on the aerobic reactor by active sludge; this is where the biggest energy consumption of the entire plant is registered, and also the fundamental point to control for the correct operation of the plant.
Apart from the change in the aerobic reactor, there will also be some changes in the general structure in order to optimize the removal of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus, and the removal of odours. These changes will be explained in more detail in the project planning, in the validation phase.
The development of this new method is intended to serve as model for the future WWTP constructions, with an operation system similar to the one proposed for this research. It can also be implemented for new constructions that initially ensure the provision to a small population that is expected to increase gradually as a result of the demographic growth in the area.
The main scientific advance proposed for this research project is the development of the piston-flux reactor with adequate aeration. The aeration blowers and the valves are automatic and operate according to the plant´s needs, thus succeeding in significantly reducing the power consumption. This system is controlled by oxygen, temperature, pressure and conductivity sensors introduced in the reactor. The air supply is done according to need along the reactor. At first a greater amount is required, considering that the quantity of organic matter in the water is higher, but gradually this need is reduced. With this method the power consumption went down by 40% compared to the initial situation.