Title page for ETD etd-07012011-165659

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Zivich, Jamie Dionne
Author's Email Address jzivich@vt.edu
URN etd-07012011-165659
Title Biological Health Assessment of an Industrial Wastewater Treatment Facility
Degree Master of Science
Department Environmental Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Boardman, Gregory D. Committee Chair
Novak, John T. Committee Member
Scardina, Robert Paolo Committee Member
  • industrial wastewater
  • graphite
  • sucrose
  • nitroglycerine
  • sequencing batch reactors
Date of Defense 2011-06-30
Availability restricted
The biological treatment of wastewaters from an industry was studied. Among the more important wastewater constituents of concern were high levels of suspended solids, due to graphite and nitrocellulose, the solvents, ethanol and acetone, and nitroglycerine (NG). The goal of this project was divided into four objectives.

The impacts of graphite on a microbial population were evaluated. Sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) were used to monitor the effects of graphite on mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS), removal of soluble chemical oxygen demand (sCOD), and specific oxygen uptake rates (sOUR). Graphite appeared to have no adverse effect on the microbes.

The potential benefits of adding sucrose, nitrogen, and phosphorus to SBRs were evaluated. The MLSS was maintained at 1,250 mg/L, similar to the microbial population in the suspended growth system at the industry. Sucrose addition increased the sCOD removals and sOUR. No direct effect was observed with the addition of nitrogen and phosphorus.

The treatability of acetone and ethanol was studied through sOUR and batch testing to determine bacterial response to solvents. Both solvents were utilized by the microbes. The concentrations tested proved to be beneficial, not inhibitory. Ethanol and a 50/50 mixture of acetone and ethanol were more viable substrates than acetone.

NG treatability was examined under anoxic and aerobic conditions in SBRs and batch biological reactors. NG degradation occurred under anoxic conditions, but was more favorable in aerobic environments. NG was degraded in all SBR tests to below detection limit (0.5 mg/L); therefore, the optimal treatment could not be determined.

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