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Assignment_5_CDPII_2018_EN15529978_Group 01

Task 3: Design of Anaerobic up flow reactor with coarse concrete aggregates as the
filter medium.
Introduction to anaerobic wastewater treatment systems
Anaerobic wastewater treatment process can be introduced under main scheme biological
wastewater treatment concept in which the microorganisms are involved to breakdown the
biodegradable organic compounds and transform them into by-products, such as solid
(biological sludge), liquid (water) or gaseous (carbon dioxide, methane, etc.) form. In either
systems of aerobic and anaerobic digestion, the efficient of removal of organic compounds
from the wastewater is dependent on the microbial activity of the biomass rooted inside the
filter media. The reactors with an attached bacterial growth, in a fixed bed are known anaerobic
filters. They characteristically possessed with stationary packing material, in which the
biological substrate can be removed from the sewage flow by degradation and the residue is
accumulated as biomass sludge at the bottom compartment. Longer solids residence times
usually keep up with shorter hydraulic detention times which will provide the anaerobic filter
to treat low-concentration wastewater with greater efficiency.

Anaerobic up flow reactor (filter) design criteria:


Anaerobic filters primarily stand for polishing effluent released from septic tanks and UASB
reactors. Design criteria of an upflow anaerobic filter (reactor) for the post-treatment of black
water effluents generated from the designed septic tanks (assignment 4) is presented below:
Table 1: Influent flow rate values to the anaerobic filter as derived in assignment 4.

Only Blackwater is taken into the consideration while designing the anaerobic filter and the
peak flow rates are obtained by multiplying the average flow rates with Harmon’s peaking
factor.
Average influent flowrate: Qav = 114 + 27 + 54 + 15 + 210 + 210 = 630 m3/d (Blackwater)
Maximum daily influent flowrate: Qmax-d = 381.9 + 103.41 + 195.48 + 59.55 + 653.10 + 653.10
= 2046.54 m3/d (Blackwater)

2. Working volume, Hydraulic retention time, hydraulic loading rate, packing media
weight, porosity, etc
a) Hydraulic detention time (hour): the average time keeping the liquid inside the filter,
calculated as follows:

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Assignment_5_CDPII_2018_EN15529978_Group 01

t = V/Q
As it is required to design anaerobic filters with Hydraulic Detention Time (HDT) between 3
and 10 hours, t = 8 hours (for average flow rate) is adopted as HDT according to the
following table by Goncalves et. al. (2001)

Figure 1: Design criteria for anaerobic filters applied to the post-treatment of effluents.
(Goncalves et. al. (2001)
b) Calculation of the volume of the filter
Calculation of the working volume of the filter by taking Hydraulic Detention Time (HDT) as
t = 8 hours which falls under the typical range of 4 to 10 hours for effective polishing of effluent
released from septic tanks (Augusto & Chermicharo, 2007).

Qav = 630 m3 is derived in the assignment 4 as the black water influent flowrate to the anaerobic
filter.
V = Qav x t = 630 m3/d x 1/24 x 8 hours = 210 m3

c) Design a depth for the packed bed and for the filter;
As it is provided in Augusto & Chermicharo, (2007) diameter of the tanks can be varied from
6 to 26 m, and their height from 3 to approximately 13 m. Hence,
Depth adopted for the pack bed: h1 = 2.1 m (70% of the total filter depth) since the anaerobic
filters should be designed with packed bed heights between 0.8 and 3.00 m as per the Table 5.2
provided above. The height of the bottom compartment (h2) and free depth to the effluent
collection chamber (h3) are taken as 0.6 m and 0.3 m respectively.
The total designed depth of the filter = H = h1 + h2 + h3 = 2.1 + 0.6 + 0.3 = 3.0 m

d) Calculation of the area of the anaerobic filter (A)


.A = V/H = 210 m3/3.0 m = 70 m2
e) Calculation of the volume of the packed bed (Vpb)
Vpb = A x h1 = 70 m2 x 2.1 m = 147 m3
f) Verification of the hydraulic loading rate (HLR) according to HLR = Q/A
where, HLR = Hydraulic Loading Rating (m3/m2.d)

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Assignment_5_CDPII_2018_EN15529978_Group 01

Q = average influent flowrate (m3/d)


A = surface area of the packing medium (m2)
It was found that the filters are capable of producing effluents of good quality when operated
under surface hydraulic rates ranging from 6 to 15 m3/m2.d
For HLR1 = Qav/A = (630 m3/d) / (70 m2) = 9 m3/m2.d (within 6 to 10 m3/m2.d ) ok.
According to Table 5.2, it is validated that the surface loading rate value is within the
recommended range of average flow condition applied.
g) Validation of the average organic loading rate applied to the anaerobic filter (Lv1) and
to the pack bed (Lv2) according to the equation;
Lv = (Q x So )/V
where, Q = average influent flowrate (m3/d)
So = influent BOD or COD concentration (kgBOD/m3 or kgCOD/m3)
V = total volume of the filter or volume occupied by the packing medium (m3)
Lv1 = [(630 m3/d x 0.11 kgBOD/m3)]/210 m3
= 0.33 kg BOD/d.m3 (0.15 < Lv1 < 0.5)
BOD concentration (BOD5) is taken as 0.11 kg BOD/m3 by referring to Table 3.15 of
Metcalf & Eddy (2003) which describes typical composition of untreated domestic
wastewater. Lv2 = [(630 m3/d x 0.11 kgBOD/m3)]/147 m3
= 0.471 kg BOD/d.m3 (0.25 < Lv2 < 0.75)
Even though a higher organic loading rate is obtained for Lv2 usually a large part of the influent
organic load is removed by the bottom compartment of the anaerobic filter and consequently a
lower volumetric organic load is applied to the packed bed.
(h) Determination of the filter dimensions
2 square section filters, each with an area of 35 m2 (5.92 m x 5.92 m) is adopted in designing
the anaerobic up flow filter.
Justification of the reactor configuration by referring to the filter dimensions
Out of many possible shapes, configurations and dimensions provided, a square shape is
selected for the filter in order to distribute the flow efficiently over the bed. As it is provided
in Augusto & Chermicharo, 2007 diameter of the tanks can be varied from 6 to 26 m, and their
height from 3 to approximately 13 m.
Proposed dimensions of the anaerobic filter are 11.84 m in length 5.92 m in width and 3 m in
height. The overall dimensions tally to a total filter volume of 210 m3 which is under an
acceptable range of 100 to 10 000 m3.
1. Key dimensions, and shape of the up flow anaerobic reactor (filter) with a preliminary
AutoCAD drawing is showing on the next page.
Number of reactors used in the proposed anaerobic filter system is one.

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Assignment_5_CDPII_2018_EN15529978_Group 01

Figure 2: Front elevation of the anaerobic upflow reactor (dimensions are in metres).

Figure 3: 3D view of the anaerobic reactor (dimensions are in meters) Figure 4: Setting out of the reactor showing the required elv.level differeces

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Assignment_5_CDPII_2018_EN15529978_Group 01

2. Packing Media (Coarse Concrete Aggregate) porosity and the weight.


According to Augusto & Chermicharo (2007), packing medium of an anaerobic reactor stands
for retaining solids inside the reactor by using the biofilm molded on the surface of the packing
medium or by the retention of the solids in the interstices of the medium or below it. Two major
purposes of the packing medium can be described as follows;

- to allow larger amount of biomass to accumulate with a consequently increased solids


retention time.
- to act as a physical barrier to prevent solids from being washed out from the treatment
system (Augusto & Chermicharo, 2007).

It’s been suggested to use coarse concrete aggregate which are available in the form of crushed
of stone as the filter media in the anaerobic reactor. Rounded river rock or crushed stone is
preferred with uniform grading ranging from 75 to 100 mm (3 to 4 in.). Uniformity of gradation
is maintained in order to ensure adequate pore space for waste water flow and air circulation
(Metcalf & Eddy, 2003). Porosity and the specific gravity (surface dry) are taken as 2.70
% and 2590 kg/m3 respectively for the crushed stone-coarse aggregate as per the
properties of aggregates provided in the Table 2 of Gomez-Soberon, J (2002).
Weight of the packing medium
Vt = Vs + Vv = 147 m3
Vv = 2.70 % x 147 m3 = 3.969 m3
Vs = 147 – 3.969 = 143.031 m3
Weight of the packing medium = 143.031 m3 x 2590 kg/m3 = 370 450 kg
3. Efficiency of the reactor
An equation capable of determining the efficiency of anaerobic filters treating different types
of effluents proposed by Young (1991) is presented below:
E = 100 × (1 − Sk × t-m)
where:
E = efficiency of the system (%)
t = hydraulic detention time (hour) = 8 hours
Sk = coefficient of the system = 0.87 (empirical)
m = coefficient of the packing medium = 0.5 (for stones)
Efficiency of the system (%) = 100 x (1 – 0.87 x 8-0.5) = 69.24 %

4. Identification of the level difference between wastewater pipe outlet and the reactor entry
point.
By reffering to Figure 4 of the assignment, elevation level difference between the blackwater
pipe outlet (blackwater interceptor) and the reactor entry point can be provided as 2 m, where
Measn Sea Level Heights (MSL) of wastewater pipe outlet (interceptor) and reactor entry point
are 12.5 MSL and 10.5 MSL respectively.

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Assignment_5_CDPII_2018_EN15529978_Group 01

References

Augusto, C & Chernicharo, L 2007, Anaerobic Reactors, viewed 4 September 2018,


http://courseweb.sliit.lk/pluginfile.php/174542/mod_resource/content/1/Anaerobic%20reacto
rs%20handbook.pdf

Gomez-Soberon, J 2002, ‘Porosity of recycled concrete with substitution of recycled concrete


aggregate – An experimental study’, ReserchGate, viewed 4 September 2018, at:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/248356888

Metcalf & Eddy 2003, ‘Wastewater Engineering Treatment and Reuse’, McGraw Hill
Companies, CA