Conventional secondary treatment usually involves an extensive aeration step, mixing wastewater with a bacterial seed. The use of pure oxygen makes the aeration steps more efficient by providing an oxygen-rich environment for the entire process.
The principle used in this process is that gas solubility in water increases linearly with the partial pressure of that gas (Henry's law). Where normal aeration can only maintain a DO level of 1 to 2 mg/l, pure oxygen provides 8 to 10 mg/l of oxygen accompanied by an increase in the dri-
ving force to replenish any oxygen used. Thus, less aeration time is needed without large increases in sludge production as occurs with other high-rate systems. The system is also less susceptible to overloading. In addition, less mixing energy is needed, and a better settling flow is formed due to the reduced turbulence. Equipment manufacturers recommend a normal scaleup factor of 0.5 when equipment for full-scale applications based on laboratory data is sized.
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