Author(s): You SJ, Tsai YP, Huang RY
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Abstract To understand the toxic effect of heavy metals on the nitrification mechanisms of activated sludge, this study identified the specific ammonia utilization rate (SAUR) inhibited by Pb, Ni and/or Cd shock loadings. Seven different heavy metal combinations (Pb, Ni, Cd, Pb+Ni, Ni+Cd, Pb+Cd, and Pb+Ni+Cd) with seven different heavy metal concentrations (0, 2, 5, 10, 15, 25, and 40 ppm, respectively) were examined by batch experiments, where the activated sludge was taken from either sequencing batch reactor (SBR) or anaerobic-anoxic-oxic (A(2)O) processes. The experimental results showed the SAUR inhibition rate was Ni>Cd>Pb. No significant inhibition in the nitrification reaction of the activated sludge was observed even when as much as 40 ppm Pb was added. In addition, no synergistic effect was found when different heavy metals were simultaneously added in different concentrations, and the overall inhibition effect depended on the heavy metal with the highest toxicity. Further, first order kinetic reaction could model the behavior of SAUR inhibition on activated sludge when adding heavy metals, and the SAUR inhibition formula was derived as (SAURmax-SAURmin) x e-ric+SAURmin. On the other hand, the heavy metal adsorption ability in both the activated sludge system was Pb=Cd>Ni. The specific adsorption capacity of activated sludge on heavy metal increased as the heavy metal concentration increased or the mixed liquid volatile suspended solid (MLVSS) decreased. The batch experiments also showed the heavy metal adsorption capacity of the SBR sludge was larger than the A(2)O sludge. Finally, the most predominant bacteria in the phylogenetic trees of SBR and A(2)O activated sludges were proteobacteria, which contributed to 42.1\% and 42.8\% of the total clones.
This article was published in J Hazard Mater
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation