Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Research Paper from the Water Technology Research Group.

The latest research paper from the Water Technology Research Group

Dubber, D. and Gray, N.F. (2011) The influence of fundamental design parameters on ciliates community structure in Irish activated sludge systems. European Journal of Protistology, 47, 274-286.

The protozoan community in eleven activated sludge wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in the greater Dublin area has been investigated and correlated with key physio-chemical operational and effluent quality parameters. The plants represented various designs, including conventional and biological nutrient removal (BNR) systems. The aim of the study was to identify differences in ciliate community due to key design parameters including anoxic/anaerobic stages and to identify suitable bioindicator species for performance evaluation. BNR systems supported significantly different protozoan communities compared to conventional systems. Total protozoan abundance was reduced in plants with incorporated anoxic and anaerobic stages, whereas species diversity was either unaffected or increased. Plagiocampa rouxi and Holophrya discolor were tolerant to anoxic/anaerobic conditions and associated with high denitrification. Apart from process design, influent wastewater characteristics affect protozoan community structure. Aspidisca cicada was associated with low dissolved oxygen and low nitrate concentrations, while Trochilia minuta was indicative of good nitrifying conditions and good sludge settleability. Trithigmostoma cucullulus was sensitive to ammonia and phosphate and could be useful as an indicator of high effluent quality. The association rating assessment procedure of Curds and Cockburn failed to predict final effluent biological oxygen demand indicating the method might not be applicable to treatment systems of different designs.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Phosphates- Latest CEEP Newsletter

The Centre European d’Etudes des Polyphosphates (CEEP) is the major centre for the polyphosphate industry which carries out work on all aspects of phosphates especially recovery and recycling of phosphates, sewage treatment ad eutrophication. They have a very extensive research and information base available through their website. You can also add your name to their free newsletter which outlines current R&D in the area. Their latest newsletter (No.84) is now available. This edition and access to all the previous editions going back to 1990 are available at Link.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Decarbonisation at UK Wastewater Utilities

An article by Mark Kowalski and Line Poinel of WRc caught my eye today. It deals with the problem of energy use at UK treatment plants. Seventy five percent of their operational carbon dioxide emissions are coming from the use of electricity via the National Grid. The industry are committed to offsetting 20% of this by 2020 by a greater use of renewables. The article is published in the autumn edition of Water and Sewerage Journal.  Link

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Chlorine Institute

There are so many interesting an informative websites in cyberspace now that it is hard to keep track. An interesting one for me is the Chlorine Institute which works with the Chlor-alkali industry. Chlorine is synonymous with water and wastewater disinfection, although it has enormous industrial applications. But those of you interested in the use of chlorine and its derivatives for water disinfection should check out this large and informative site. There is a particularly interesting section on Emergency Response. Link.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Crap in a Bag Could Change the World?

Introducing the Peepoo. This is a novel approach to improving sanitation while at the same time creating useful biomass and fertilizer. The use of night soil has been exploited by farmers for centuries, but the introduction of the Peepoo is a clever idea to prevent disease transmission and to generate income in developing countries.
The Peepoo is a biodegradable plastic bag 14 x 38 cm which people use as a portable toilet. The bag contains urea powder which reacts with the urine and faeces helping decomposition but also raising the pH. Pathogens are inactivated within 2-4 weeks depending on the temperature. The bioplastic is made from a mixture of aromatic co-polyesters and polylactone acid (PLA), with small additives of wax and lime. With time these degrade in the soil to release the N and P as well as adding vital water retaining biomass to the soil. As fertilizer is expensive in developing countries many local suppliers of Peepoo bags pay a small refund if the bag is returned full. These are then stored in heaps and allowed to slowly degrade producing a sellable nutrient enriched biomass for local farmers. One person using the bags for a year is equivalent to an artificial fertilizer loading of 6 kg urea 2 kg Total P and 1 kg potash.

Friday, November 11, 2011

PhD Awarded to Water Technology Research Group Member

Congratulations to former Water Technology Research Group research student Donata Dubber who was awarded her PhD degree today.  The title of her thesis was  The effects of anoxia and anaerobia on protozoan communities in activated sludge operation. The study was supported by Science Foundation Ireland.