Case Studies Utilising Respirometry for Optimisation of ASPs

Dooley, M., and Diamond, K., Strathkelvin Instruments


Since the innovation of closed cell respimetric techniques in portable six cell respirometer has seen a number of Process
Optimisation Studies being completed for a wide range of ASP Treatment Plants. The utilisation of this innovative
respirometry has produced significant operational benefits in resolving problems, and providing optimum conditions to
reduce the risk of recurring problems, and reducing operational costs at the same time. Presentations of these studies will
provide attendees a valuable source of information to allow them to better understand their own plants, or how they might
resolve similar situations.

Respirometry is a recognised and valuable tool for examining the bacteria in Activated Sludge that are commenly used in
the treatment of wastewaters. These wastewaters can be in the form of domestic sewage or the industrial wasterwater from
a variety of manufacturing process, or a combination of both.

Bacteria are highly adaptable life forms given the right environmental conditions where they can biodegrade some
incredibly toxic compounds and still proliferate providing continued biodegradation. Knowing what the right conditions are
can prove problematic, and a series of hueristics are often used however these cometimes do not provide the desired
results. In these circumstances a direct measurement of the bacteria's performance can be a key element in resolving the
unkowns and providing the right conditions for the bacteria to do the job they are required to perform.
Respirometry in the form of the latest instrumentation in the market, Strathtox from Strathkelvin Instruments, provides a
simple, rapid, and efficient form of bacterial measurement that we have used successfully in a number of consultancy
assignments: a major chemical facility in the USA with significant kill off problems, a swedish WWTP facility with
denitrification problems, a UK based WWTP with significant discharge quality problems, and a UK WWTP with
compromised Nitrification 

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