This Research Communication describes an investigation into the viability of an Intermittently Aerated Sequencing Batch Reactor (IASBR) for the treatment of dairy processing wastewater at laboratory-scale. A number of operational parameters have been varied and the effect has been monitored in order to determine optimal conditions for maximising removal efficiencies. These operational parameters include Hydraulic Retention Time (HRT), Solids Retention Time (SRT), aeration rate and cycle length. Real dairy processing wastewater and synthetic wastewater have been treated using three laboratory-scale IASBR units in a temperature controlled room. When the operational conditions were established, the units were seeded using sludge from a municipal wastewater treatment plant for the first experiment, and sludge from a dairy processing factory for the second and third experiment. In experiment three, the reactors were fed on real wastewater from the wastewater treatment plant at this dairy processing factory. These laboratory-scale systems will be used to demonstrate over time that the IASBR system is a consistent, viable option for treatment of dairy processing wastewater in this sector. In this study, the capacity of a biological system to remove both nitrogen and phosphorus within one reactor will be demonstrated. The initial operational parameters for a pilot-scale IASBR system will be derived from the results of the study.
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