First proof of concept for full-scale, direct, low-temperature anaerobic treatment of municipal wastewater.

Trego, A. C., Conall Holohan, B., Keating, C. , Graham, A., O'Connor, S., Gerardo, M., Hughes, D., Ijaz, U. Z. and O'Flaherty, V. (2021) First proof of concept for full-scale, direct, low-temperature anaerobic treatment of municipal wastewater. Bioresource Technology, 341, 125786. (doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2021.125786) (PMID:34523560)

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Abstract

Municipal wastewater constitutes the largest fraction of wastewater, and yet treatment processes are largely removal-based. High-rate anaerobic digestion (AD) has revolutionised the sustainability of industrial wastewater treatment and could additionally provide an alternative for municipal wastewater. While AD of dilute municipal wastewater is common in tropical regions, the low temperatures of temperate climates has resulted in slow uptake. Here, we demonstrate for the first time, direct, high-rate, low-temperature AD of low-strength municipal wastewater at full-scale. An 88 m3 hybrid reactor was installed at the municipal wastewater treatment plant in Builth Wells, UK and operated for 290 days. Ambient temperatures ranged from 2 to 18 °C, but remained below 15 °C for > 100 days. Influent BOD fluctuated between 2 and 200 mg L-1. However, BOD removal often reached > 85%. 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing of DNA from the biomass revealed a highly adaptable core microbiome. These findings could provide the basis for the next-generation of municipal wastewater treatment.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was financially supported by grants from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) of Ireland through: the Programme for Research at Third Level Institutions, Cycle 5 (PRTLI-5), co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF); the Enterprise Ireland Technology Centres Programme (TC/2014/0016) and Science Foundation Ireland (14/IA/2371 and 16/RC/3889). UZI is further supported by a NERC Independent Research Fellowship (NE/ L011956/1) and EPSRC (EP/P029329/1 and EP/V030515/1).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Keating, Dr Ciara and Ijaz, Dr Umer
Authors: Trego, A. C., Conall Holohan, B., Keating, C., Graham, A., O'Connor, S., Gerardo, M., Hughes, D., Ijaz, U. Z., and O'Flaherty, V.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Infrastructure and Environment
Journal Name:Bioresource Technology
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0960-8524
ISSN (Online):1873-2976
Published Online:22 August 2021

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
170256Understanding microbial community through in situ environmental 'omic data synthesisUmer Zeeshan IjazNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/L011956/1ENG - Infrastructure & Environment
300451Optimising decentralised low-cost wastewater infrastructure by managing the microbesWilliam SloanEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/P029329/1ENG - Infrastructure & Environment
309846Decentralised water technologiesWilliam SloanEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/V030515/1ENG - Infrastructure & Environment