The development of effluent removal prediction is crucial in providing a planning tool necessary for the future development and the construction of a septic sludge treatment plant (SSTP), especially in the developing countries. In order to investigate the expected functionality of the required standard, the prediction of the effluent quality, namely biological oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand and total suspended solid of an SSTP was modelled using an artificial intelligence approach. In this paper, we adopt the clonal selection algorithm (CSA) to set up a prediction model, with a well-established method - namely the least-square support vector machine (LS-SVM) as a baseline model. The test results of the case study showed that the prediction of the CSA-based SSTP model worked well and provided model performance as satisfactory as the LS-SVM model. The CSA approach shows that fewer control and training parameters are required for model simulation as compared with the LS-SVM approach. The ability of a CSA approach in resolving limited data samples, non-linear sample function and multidimensional pattern recognition makes it a powerful tool in modelling the prediction of effluent removals in an SSTP.
Free-surface constructed wetlands are known as a low-energy green technique to highly decrease a wide range of pollutants in wastewater and stormwater before discharge into natural water. In this study, two spatial analyses, principal factor analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis (HACA), were employed to interpret the effect of wetland on the water quality variables (WQVs) and to classify the wetland into groups with similar characteristics. Eleven WQVs were collected at the 17 sampling stations twice a month for 13 months. All sampling stations were classified by HACA into three clusters, with high, moderate, and low pollution areas. To improve the water quality, the performance of Cluster-III (micropool) is more significant than Cluster-I and Cluster-II. Implications of this study include potential savings of time and cost for long-term data monitoring purposes in the free-constructed wetland.
Oil spills generally cause worldwide concern due to their detrimental effects on the environment and the economy. An assortment of commercial systems has been developed to control these spills, including the use of agricultural wastes as sorbents. This work deals with raw and modified mangrove barks (Rhizophora apiculata), an industrial lignocellulosic waste, as a low cost adsorbent for oil-product-spill cleanup in the aquatic environment. Mangrove bark was modified using fatty acids (oleic acid and palmitic acid) to improve its adsorption capacity. The oil sorption capacity of the modified bark was studied and compared with that of the raw bark. Kinetic tests were conducted with a series of contact times. The influence of particle size, oil dosage, pH and temperature on oil sorption capacity was investigated. The results showed that oleic acid treated bark has a higher sorption capacity (2,860.00 ± 2.00 mg/g) than untreated bark for Tapis crude oil. A correlation between surface functional groups, morphology and surface area of the adsorbent was studied by Fourier transform infrared spectrum, field emission scanning electron microscopy images and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller analysis. Isotherm study was conducted using the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models. The result showed that adsorption of crude oil on treated mangrove bark could be best described by the Langmuir model.
This study applies the clonal selection algorithm (CSA) in an artificial immune system (AIS) as an alternative method to predicting future rainfall data. The stochastic and the artificial neural network techniques are commonly used in hydrology. However, in this study a novel technique for forecasting rainfall was established. Results from this study have proven that the theory of biological immune systems could be technically applied to time series data. Biological immune systems are nonlinear and chaotic in nature similar to the daily rainfall data. This study discovered that the proposed CSA was able to predict the daily rainfall data with an accuracy of 90% during the model training stage. In the testing stage, the results showed that an accuracy between the actual and the generated data was within the range of 75 to 92%. Thus, the CSA approach shows a new method in rainfall data prediction.
An innovative approach using soybean residues for the production of bioflocculants through solid-state fermentation was carried out in 4.5 L near-to-adiabatic bioreactors at pilot-scale level. An added inoculum of the strain Bacillus subtilis UPMB13 was tested in comparison with control reactors without any inoculation after the thermophilic phase of the fermentation. The flocculating performances of the extracted bioflocculants were tested on kaolin suspensions, and crude bioflocculants were obtained from 20 g of fermented substrate through ethanol precipitation. The production of bioflocculants was observed to be higher during the death phase of microbial growth. The bioflocculants were observed to be granular in nature and consisted of hydroxyl, carboxyl and methoxyl groups that aid in their flocculating performance. The results show the vast potential of the idea of using wastes to produce bioactive materials that can replace the current dependence on chemicals, for future prospect in water treatment applications.
A two-staged engineered wetland-based system was designed and constructed to treat raw domestic septage. Hydraulic loading rates (HLRs) of 8.75 and 17.5 cm/d were studied with four and eight daily dosings at the second stage of the system to investigate the influence of the regimes on septage treatment. Removal of organic matter (OM) was found to be HLR dependent, where the results indicated that the increase of HLR from 8.75 to 17.5 cm/d impaired the overall level of treatment in the wetland units. Effluent of wetland fed at HLR 17.5 cm/d presented significantly lower oxygen reduction potential and dissolved oxygen values than wetland fed at 8.75 cm/d, indicative of the occurrence of less aerobic and reductive conditions in the bed. The reoxygenation capability of the wetland units was found to be heavily affected by the dosing frequency especially under high hydraulic load (17.5 cm/d). NH3-N degradation was found to decrease with statistical importance when the wetland was flushed two times more frequently with smaller batches of influent. The number of hydraulic load fractionings did not seem to affect the level of treatments of OM and ammonia for both the wetlands fed under the lower HLR of 8.75 cm/d. Prediction of hydraulic limits and management of the feeding strategies are important in the vertical type of engineered wetlands to guarantee the treatment performance and minimize the chances of filter clogging.
Finding alternative resources to secure or increase water availability is a key issue in most urban areas. This makes the research of alternative and local water resources of increasing importance. In the context of political tension with its main water provider (Malaysia), Singapore has been implementing a comprehensive water policy for some decades, which relies on water demand management and local water resource mobilisation in order to reach water self-sufficiency by 2060. The production of water from alternative resources through seawater desalination or water reclamation implies energy consumptive technologies such as reverse osmosis. In the context of increasing energy costs and high primary energy dependency, this water self-sufficiency objective is likely to be an important challenge for Singapore. The aim of this paper is to quantify the long-term impact of Singapore's water policy on the national electricity bill and to investigate the impact of Singapore's projects to reduce its water energy footprint. We estimate that 2.0% of the Singaporean electricity demand is already dedicated to water and wastewater treatment processes. If its water-energy footprint dramatically increases in the coming decades, ambitious research projects may buffer the energy cost of water self-sufficiency.
Aerobic granular sludge (AGS) has been applied to treat a broad range of industrial and municipal wastewater. AGS can be developed in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) with alternating anaerobic-aerobic conditions. To provide anaerobic conditions, the mixed liquor is allowed to circulate in the reactor without air supply. The circulation flow rate of mixed liquor in anaerobic condition is the most important parameter of operation in the anaerobic-AGS processes. Therefore, this study investigates the effect of circulation rate on the performance of the SBR with AGS. Two identical reactors namely R1 and R2 were operated using fermented soy sauce wastewater at circulation rate of 14.4 and 36.0 l/h, respectively. During the anaerobic conditions, the wastewater was pumped out from the upper part of the reactor and circulated back into the bottom of the reactor for 230 min. A compact and dense AGS was observed in both reactors with a similar diameter of 2.0 mm in average, although different circulation rates were adopted. The best reactor performance was achieved in R2 with chemical oxygen demand removal rate of 89%, 90% total phosphorus removal, 79% ammonia removal, 10.1 g/l of mixed liquor suspended solids and a sludge volume index of 25 ml/g.
This paper highlights a preliminary study on the potential of a tipping flush gate to be used in an open storm drain to remove sediment. The investigation was carried out by using a plasboard model of the tipping flush gate installed in a rectangular flume. A steady flow experiment was carried out to determine the discharge coefficients and also the outflow relationship of the tipping flush gate. The velocity produced by the gate at various distances downstream of the gate during flushing operation was measured using a flowmeter and the velocity at all the points was higher than the recommended self-cleansing design available in the literature. A preliminary experiment on the efficiency of flushing was conducted using uniform sediment with d50 sizes of 0.81, 1.53 and 4.78 mm. Results generally showed that the number of flushes required to totally remove the sediment from the initial position by a distance of 1 m increased by an average of 1.50 times as the sediment deposit bed thickness doubled. An equation relating the number of flushes required to totally remove the sediment bed for 1 m with the sediment bed deposit thickness was also developed for the current study.
One of the appropriate development technology options for the treatment of wastewater contaminated with diesel is constructed wetlands (CWs). Throughout 72 days of exposure, sampling was carried out for monitoring of physical parameters, plant growth and the efficiency of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) removal, as an indication for diesel contamination, to assess the pilot-scale performance. Four pilot CWs with a horizontal sub-surface flow system were applied using the bulrush of Scirpus grossus. The CWs were loaded with different diesel concentrations of 0, 0.1, 0.2 and 0.25% (Vdiesel/Vwater). The TPH removal efficiencies were 82, 71, and 67% at the end of 72 days for diesel concentrations of 0.1, 0.2, and 0.25% respectively. In addition, the high removal efficiency of total suspended solids and chemical oxygen demand (COD) were 100 and 75.4% respectively, for a diesel concentration of 0.1%. It was concluded that S. grossus is a potential plant that can be used in a well-operated CW for restoring 0.1% diesel-contaminated water.
The characteristics of urban stormwater pollution in the tropics are still poorly understood. This issue is crucial to the tropical environment because its rainfall and runoff generation processes are so different from temperate regions. In this regard, a stormwater monitoring program was carried out at three urban catchments (e.g. residential, commercial and industrial) in the southern part of Peninsular Malaysia. A total of 51 storm events were collected at these three catchments. Samples were analyzed for total suspended solids, 5-day biochemical oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand (COD), oil and grease, nitrate nitrogen, nitrite nitrogen, ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N), soluble reactive phosphorus and total phosphorus. Principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis were used to interpret the stormwater quality data for pattern recognition and identification of possible sources. The most likely sources of stormwater pollutants at the residential catchment were from surface soil and leachate of fertilizer from domestic lawns and gardens, whereas the most likely sources for the commercial catchment were from discharges of food waste and washing detergent. In the industrial catchment, the major sources of pollutants were discharges from workshops and factories. The PCA factors further revealed that COD and NH3-N were the major pollutants influencing the runoff quality in all three catchments.
Although ultrafiltration (UF) membranes are applicable in wastewater and water treatment, most UF membranes are hydrophobic and susceptible to severe fouling by natural organic matter. In this work, polysulfone (PSf) membrane was blended with silicaluminophosphate (SAPO) nanoparticles, SAPO-34, to study the effect of SAPO-34 incorporation in humic acid (HA) fouling mitigation. The casting solution was prepared by blending 5-20 wt% of SAPO-34 nanoparticles into the mixture of PSf, 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidinone and polyvinyl alcohol at 75 °C. All membrane samples were then prepared using the phase inversion method. Blending SAPO-34 zeolite into PSf membranes caused augmentation in surface hydrophilicity and pore size, leading to higher water permeation. In the HA filtration test, mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) with SAPO-34 zeolite showed reduced HA fouling initiated from pore blocking. The MMM with 20 wt% SAPO-34 loading exhibited the highest increment of water permeation (83%) and maintained about 75% of permeate flux after 2.5 h. However, the SAPO-34 fillers agglomerated in the PSf matrix and induced macrovoid formation on the membrane surface when excessive zeolite was added.
Urbanization and frequent storms play important roles in increasing faecal bacteria pollution, especially for tropical urban catchments. However, only little information on the faecal bacteria levels from different land use types and the factors that influence bacteria concentrations is available. Thus, the objectives of this study were to quantify the levels and transport mechanism of faecal coliforms (FCs) from residential and commercial catchments. Stormwaters were sampled and the runoff flow rates were measured from both catchments during four storm events in Skudai, Malaysia. The samples were then analysed for FC, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total suspended solids (TSS) and ammoniacal-nitrogen (NH3-N) concentrations. Intra-storm and inter-storm characteristics of FC bacteria were investigated in order to identify the level and transport pattern of FC. The commercial catchment showed significantly higher event mean concentration (EMC) of FC than the residential catchment. For the residential catchment, the highest bacterial concentrations occurred during the early part of stormwater runoff with peak concentrations usually preceding the peak flow. First flush effect was more prevalent at the residential catchment.
The adsorption of methyl orange dye from aqueous solution onto penta-bismuth hepta-oxide nitrate, Bi(5)O(7)NO(3), synthesized by precipitation method, was studied in a batch adsorption system. The effects of operation parameters such as adsorbent dose, initial dye concentration, pH and temperature were investigated. The adsorption equilibrium and mechanism of adsorption was evaluated by Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm and different kinetic models, respectively. The results indicate that adsorption is highly dependent on all operation parameters. At optimum conditions, the adsorption capacity was found to be 18.9 mg/g. The adsorption data fits well with the Langmuir isotherm model indicating monolayer coverage of adsorbate molecules on the surface of Bi(5)O(7)NO(3). The kinetic studies show that the adsorption process is a second-order kinetic reaction. Although intra-particle diffusion limits the rate of adsorption, the multi-linearity plot of intra-particle model shows the importance of both film and intra-particle diffusion as the rate-limiting steps of the dye removal. Thermodynamic parameters show that the adsorption process is endothermic, spontaneous and favourable at high temperature.
Undular hydraulic jumps are characterized by a smooth rise of the free surface, followed by a train of stationary waves. These jumps sometimes occur in natural waterways and rivers. Numerical difficulties are especially distinct when the flow condition is close to the critical value because of the high sensitivity of the near-critical flow field to flow and channel conditions. Furthermore, the free surface has a wavy shape, which may indicate the occurrence of several transitions from supercritical to subcritical states and vice versa (i.e., undular hydraulic jumps). In this study, a flow model is used to predict an undular hydraulic jump in a rectangular open channel. The model is based on the general two-dimensional, Reynolds-averaged, Navier-Stokes flow equations. The resulting set of partial differential equations is solved using the FLOW-3D solver. The results are compared with the experimental data to validate the model. The comparative analysis shows that the proposed model yields good results. Several types of undular hydraulic jumps occurring in different situations are then simulated to prove the potential application of the model.
Landfill leachate is one of the most recalcitrant wastes for biotreatment and can be considered a potential source of contamination to surface and groundwater ecosystems. In the present study, Fenton oxidation was employed for degradation of stabilized landfill leachate. Response surface methodology was applied to analyze, model and optimize the process parameters, i.e. pH and reaction time as well as the initial concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and ferrous ion. Analysis of variance showed that good coefficients of determination were obtained (R2 > 0.99), thus ensuring satisfactory agreement of the second-order regression model with the experimental data. The results indicated that, pH and its quadratic effects were the main factors influencing Fenton oxidation. Furthermore, antagonistic effects between pH and other variables were observed. The optimum H2O2 concentration, Fe(II) concentration, pH and reaction time were 0.033 mol/L, 0.011 mol/L, 3 and 145 min, respectively, with 58.3% COD, 79.0% color and 82.1% iron removals.
The titrimetric method is used for on-site measurement of the concentration of volatile fatty acids (VFAs) in anaerobic treatment. In current practice, specific and interpolated pH-volume data points are used to obtain the concentration of VFA by solving simultaneous equations iteratively to convergence (denoted as SEq). Here, the least squares method (LSM) is introduced as an elegant alternative. Known concentrations of VFA (acetic acid and/or propionic acid) ranging from to 200 to 1,000 mg/L were determined using SEq and LSM. Using standard numbers of data points, SEq gave more accurate results compared with LSM. However, results favoured LSM when all data points in the range were included without any interpolation. For model refinement, unit monovalent activity coefficient (f(m) = 1) was found reasonable and arithmetic averages of dissociation constants and molecular weight of 80 mol% acetic acid were recommended in the model for VFA determination of mixtures. An accurate result was obtained with a mixture containing more VFA (butyric acid and valeric acid). In a typical VFA measurement of real anaerobic effluent, a satisfactory result with an error of 14% was achieved. LSM appears to be a promising mathematical model solver for determination of concentration of VFA in the titrimetric method. Validation of LSM in the presence of other electrolytes deserves further exploration.
Bukit Merah Reservoir is the main potable and irrigation water source for Kerian District, Perak State, Malaysia. For the past two decades, the reservoir has experienced water stress. Land-use activities have been identified as the contributor of the sedimentation. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to simulate and quantify the impacts of land-use change in the reservoir watershed. The SWAT was calibrated and two scenarios were constructed representing projected land use in the year 2015 and hypothetical land use to represent extensive land-use change in the catchment area. The simulation results based on 17 years of rainfall records indicate that average water quantity will not be significantly affected but the ground water storage will decrease and suspended sediment will increase. Ground water decrease and sediment yield increase will exacerbate the Bukit Merah Reservoir operation problem.
A study has been carried out to define the effect of drastic temperature changes on the performance of lab-scale hollow-fibre MBR in treating municipal wastewater at a flux of 10 L m(-2) h(-1) (LMH). The objectives of the study were to estimate the activated sludge properties, the removal efficiencies of COD and NH(3)-N and the membrane fouling tendency under critical conditions of drastic temperature changes (23, 33, 42 & 33 °C) and MLSS concentration ranged between 6,382 and 8,680 mg/L. The study exhibited that the biomass reduction, the low sludge settleability and the supernatant turbidity were results of temperature increase. The temperature increase led to increase in SMP carbohydrate and protein, and to decrease in EPS carbohydrate and protein. The BRE of COD dropped from 80% at 23 °C to 47% at 42 °C, while the FRE was relatively constant at about 90%. Both removal efficiencies of NH(3)-N trended from about 100% at 33 °C to less than 50% at 42 °C. TMP and BWP ascended critically with temperature increase up to 336 and 304 mbar respectively by the end of the experiment. The values of suspended solids (SS) and the turbidity in the final effluent were negligible. The DO in the mixed liquor was varying with temperature change, while the pH was within the range of 6.7-8.3.
Aerobic granular sludge has a number of advantages over conventional activated sludge flocs, such as cohesive and strong matrix, fast settling characteristic, high biomass retention and ability to withstand high organic loadings, all aspects leading towards a compact reactor system. Still there are very few studies on the strength of aerobic granules. A procedure that has been used previously for anaerobic granular sludge strength analysis was adapted and used in this study. A new coefficient was introduced, called a stability coefficient (S), to quantify the strength of the aerobic granules. Indicators were also developed based on the strength analysis results, in order to categorize aerobic granules into three levels of strength, i.e. very strong (very stable), strong (stable) and not strong (not stable). The results indicated that aerobic granules grown on acetate were stronger (high density: >150 g T SSL(-1) and low S value: 5%) than granules developed on sewage as influent. A lower value of S indicates a higher stability of the granules.