Biological degradation of EDTA in pulping effluents at higher pH - a laboratory study

The biological degradation of EDTA at different pH, sludge load and sludge age has been investigated in laboratory experiments. The experiments showed that relatively fast degradation of EDTA in the form found in this waste water (from production of TMP) took place at least at pH around 8,5 with moderate COD load and high sludge age. In continuous reactors the degradation of EDTA in a pulp and paper waste water was 2-3 mg EDTA/g SS*day at both pH 7 and 8,5, and at sludge ages from 5 to 21 days. The degradation was dependent on sludge load, and no degradation was seen above 1 g COD/g SS*day. In kinetic experiments with half strength waste water the same degradation rate (1,5-2 mg EDTA/g SS*day) was found at pH 7 and at pH 8,5 with sludge of low age (9 and 5 days SRT). Much faster degradation was found at pH 8,5 with sludge of high age (21 days in the continuous experiment). The mean degradation rate was over 10 mg EDTA/g SS*day from 20 to 5 mg EDTA/l. vmax was determined to be 35 mg EDTA/g SS*day and KM to 31 mg EDTA/l. COD removal was at least as good at pH 8,5 as at pH 7. Sludge properties were best at pH 8,5 and long sludge retention time (giving low sludge load). Both sludge volume index and residual suspended solids after sedimentation were lower than under normal conditions at pH 7. The direct cost for caustic lime would be about 15 SEK per ton of TMP, with a water like the one investigated here. This can vary a lot dependent on starting pH and buffering capacity. Costs for addition of nitrogen source could probably be omitted, but this is normally not more than 1-2 SEK per ton of TMP

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Last updated: 2021-05-05

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