The measurement and significance of ATP pools in activated sludge treating coke oven liquors
Coke oven liquor is a toxic wastewater produced in large quantities by the Iron and Steel, and Coking Industries, and gives rise to major effluent treatment problems in those industries. Conscious of the potentially serious environmental impact of the discharge of such wastes, pollution control agencies in many countries have made progressively more stringent quality requirements for the discharge of the treated waste. The most common means of treating the waste is the activated sludge process. Problems with achieving consistently satisfactory treatment by this process have been experienced in the past. The need to improve the quality of the discharge of the treated waste prompted attempts by TOMLINS to model the process using Adenosine Triphosophnte (ATP) as a measure of biomass, but these were unsuccessful. This thesis describes work that was carried out to determine the significance of ATP in the activated sludge treatment of the waste. The use of ATP measurements in wastewater treatment were reviewed. Investigations were conducted into the ATP behaviour of the batch activated sludge treatment of two major components of the waste, phenol, and thiocyanate, and the continuous activated sludge treatment of the liquor itself, using laboratory scale apparatus. On the basis of these results equations were formulated to describe the significance of ATP as a measured activity and biomass in the treatment system. These were used as the basis for proposals to use ATP as a control parameter in the activated sludge treatment of coke oven liquor, and wastewaters in general. These had relevance both to the treatment of the waste in the reactor and to the settlement of the sludge produced in the secondary settlement stage of the treatment process.