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Wastewater treatment by novel hybrid biological – ion exchange processes

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Title: Wastewater treatment by novel hybrid biological – ion exchange processes
Author(s): Hegger, Kyle J.
Advisor(s): Schideman, Lance C.
Department / Program: Engineering Administration
Discipline: Agricultural & Biological Engr
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: M.S.
Genre: Thesis
Subject(s): wastewater membrane bioreactor algae perchlorate wastewater treatment nitrification membrane bio-reactor (MBR) dunaliella clinoptilolite
Abstract: This study presents two novel methods for treating important environmental contaminants from two different wastewater streams. One process utilizes the kinetic advantages and reliability of ion exchanging clinoptilolite in combination with biological treatment to remove ammonium from municipal sewage. A second process, HAMBgR (Hybrid Adsorption Membrane Biological Reactor), combines both ion exchange resin and bacteria into a single reactor to treat perchlorate contaminated waters. Combining physicochemical adsorptive treatment with biological treatment can provide synergistic benefits to the overall removal processes. Ion exchange removal solves some of the common operational reliability limitations of biological treatment, like slow response to environmental changes and leaching. Biological activity can in turn help reduce the economic and environmental challenges of ion exchange processes, like regenerant cost and brine disposal. The second section of this study presents continuous flow column experiments, used to demonstrate the ability of clinoptilolite to remove wastewater ammonium, as well as the effectiveness of salt regeneration using highly concentrated sea salt solutions. The working capacity of clinoptilolite more than doubled over the first few loading cycles, while regeneration recovered more than 98% of ammonium. Using the regenerant brine for subsequent halotolerant algae growth allowed for its repeated use, which could lead to cost savings and production of valuable algal biomass. The algae were able to uptake all ammonium in solution, and the brine was able to be used again with no loss in regeneration efficiency. This process has significant advantages over conventional biological nitrification; shorter retention times, wider range of operational conditions, and higher quality effluent free of nitrate. Also, since the clinoptilolite is continually regenerated and the regenerant is rejuvenated by algae, overall input costs are expected to be low. The third section of this study introduces the HAMBgR process for the elimination of perchlorate and presents batch isotherm experiments and pilot reactor tests. Results showed that a variety of ion-exchange resins can be effectively and repeatedly regenerated biologically, and maintain an acceptable working capacity. The presence of an adsorbent in the HAMBgR process improved bioreactor performance during operational fluctuations by providing a physicochemical backup to the biological process. Pilot reactor tests showed that the HAMBgR process reduced effluent perchlorate spikes by up to 97% in comparison to a conventional membrane bio-reactor (MBR) that was subject to sudden changes in influent conditions. Also, the HAMBgR process stimulated biological activity and lead to higher biomass concentrations during increased contaminant loading conditions. Conventional MBR systems can be converted into HAMBgR’s at a low cost, easily justifiable by the realized benefits. The concepts employed in the HAMBgR process can be adapted to treat other target contaminants, not just perchlorate.
Issue Date: 2010-08-20
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/16869
Rights Information: Copyright 2010 Kyle J. Hegger
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-08-20
Date Deposited: 2010-08
 

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