Modeling nonsteady-state conditions and kinetics of mass transport for hydrophobic compounds in activated-sludge treatment

Bruce E. Rittmann, Kuan Chun Lee, Jay Shi, Drew C. McAvoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

A new model that describes the fate of hydrophobic and volatile organic compounds in activated-sludge treatment includes two novel features. First, all of the mass balances are nonsteady state, which allows the model to describe the effects of transients in loading, temperature, or operation. Second, the model describes the mass transfer of hydrophobic compounds with kinetics, not equilibrium. A series of examples demonstrate the new features of the model and how they can be important. When the kinetics of mass transfer are not fast, hydrophobic compounds remain significantly out of equilibrium, even when the system is operating at steady state. When the loading of a hydrophobic compound increases, its aqueous-phase concentration approaches (but does not quite reach) its steady-state concentration much more rapidly than does the density of the adsorbed hydrophobic compound. Finally, the importance of mass-transport kinetics between the aqueous and sorbed phases suggests that research should be focused on this poorly understood mechanism in activated sludge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-280
Number of pages8
JournalWater Environment Research
Volume75
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Activated sludge
  • Hydrophobic compounds
  • Mass-transfer limitation
  • Nonsteady state
  • Secondary utilization
  • Volatile organic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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