What is sludge age?
The most extensively utilized biological water and wastewater treatment method is activated sludge. Suspended-growth microorganisms, as is well known, are used to break down wastes using this method.
The average duration a particle of suspended solids remains in the activated sludge system is referred to as sludge age. In other words, the sludge age refers solely to the period of time a particle spends inside the activated sludge system.
How is sludge age calculated?
The daily amounts of suspended solids, which is calculated from the daily influent flow and concentration to the primary clarifier (or the daily influent flow and concentration to the plant if there is no primary clarifier) and the total amount of solids in the aerator or aeration basin, is used in the mathematical equation. The Mixed Liquor Suspended Solids (MLSS) test is used to determine this.
Sludge age (days)
=Total lbs. of MLSS in aeration basin/ Amount of TSS in the influent on a daily basis.
What is MCRT?
The average duration a microbe spends in the activated sludge process under aeration is known as the MCRT. The mass of total suspended solids (TSS) in the treatment system, which includes the solids in the bioreactor (e.g., aeration basin) and the solids in the secondary clarifier, is divided by the mass of TSS lost and removed from the treatment system, to get the MCRT (mean cell residence time). As total suspended solids overrun the secondary clarifier, TSS is lost from the system (plant effluent). The purposeful waste of activated sludge removes TSS from the system. MCRT is measured in days.
The MCRT formula is used to calculate how long bacteria stay in the system before they exit the plant.
MCRT (lbs.) = Solids in the aeration system / Solids exiting the system (pounds per day)
How is MCRT related to sludge age?
New solids are regularly generated by activated sludge treatment systems. The amounts of solids required in your aeration system is determined by several factors, including design, weather, and permit restrictions.
1: Any system with ammonia-nitrogen limitations will often demand a larger MCRT, more air, and a higher MLSS concentration in the aeration basin as a result.
2: Sludge production is reduced by a longer sludge age (MCRT) compared to a younger sludge age (MCRT). This is due to the fact that BOD is used for both survival and growth (using excess food beyond that needed for maintenance requirements).
MCRT can tell you how old the sludge is or how long it's been in the system if it's involved in the wastewater treatment process. Whatever equation your facility picks, keep in mind that you're simply dividing the quantity of solids in the plant by the mass of new solids produced each day.
Knowing the ideal MCRT for your plant when it's performing at its best can be a huge help when you're trying to figure out what's wrong and how to fix it.
With these and any other process control measures you use at your facility, representative sample, accurate flow measurement, proper laboratory processes, and correct calculations are vital. Please feel free to contact Netsol Water for further information on this or other process control approaches.
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