Membrane bioreactor technology: A novel approach to the treatment of compost leachate
LE3 .A278 2011
Bachelor of Science
Since the implication of the Solid Waste Resource Management Strategy in 1995, Nova Scotia has been a leader in waste diversion, with a disposal rate that is approximately half of the national average. Many strategies contribute to this success, one of which is composting organic wastes. While there are many benefits to composting, a significant problem that exists is the formation of compost leachate. Compost leachate is formed when the organic material begins to decompose and the water contained within the matter seeps out and settles. It contains large quantities of ammonia, metals and oxidizable organic material, making it a risk to the environment if released untreated. The treatment of compost leachate using membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology was carried out for 52 days. The progress of the system was monitored daily via the measure of several important water quality parameters, including chemical oxygen demand (COD), nitrate and dissolved oxygen. It was found that the COD of the MBR effluent plateaued at approximately 390 mg/L, which represented a decrease of 99% from an initial COD of 116,000 mg/L in the leachate. The ammonia concentration in the leachate was reduced almost completely from around 2,700 mg/L to only 0.046 mg/L in the effluent, while an increase in nitrate concentration in the effluent to 710 mg/L was observed. The microbial population of the MBR tank was also examined. It was found that the population increased by almost 10,000 times during the experiment period.
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