Rapid control of activated sludge bulking and simultaneous acceleration of aerobic granulation by adding intact aerobic granular sludge.Sci Total Environ 2019; 674:105-113ST
The feasibility of rapidly controlling activated sludge bulking and accelerating aerobic sludge granulation was evaluated by adding intact aerobic granular sludge (AGS) to the bulking activated sludge (BAS) reactor. Two ratios of AGS to BAS (0.2 in the first reactor (R1), and 0.4 in the second reactor (R2)) were tested. The results indicate that the addition of AGS immediately improved the settling ability of BAS (sludge volume index at 30 min (SVI30) in R1 and R2 decreased from 173.1 mL/g to 130.8 and 91.3 mL/g, respectively) and gradually increased the biomass concentration (mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) in R1 and R2 increased to 4722 and 5190 mg/L, respectively), thus resolving the sludge bulking problem. Meanwhile, adding AGS not only promoted the BAS growth in aggregates, but also facilitated the selection of well-settling aggregates at an early stage. Consequently, the granulation process was significantly accelerated. The granulation time in R1 and R2 was 14 and 10 days, respectively, indicating that the higher ratio of AGS to BAS can result in the faster granulation. Partial nitrification could be maintained during the BAS granulation process when the initial inoculation of nitritation sludge was large enough. Additionally, the microbial community changed during the BAS granulation process. The genera Thauera and Zoogloea belonging to family Rhodobacteraceae were speculated to play an important role in the BAS granulation.