Comparative study of packing materials of filtration reactors for on-site wastewater treatment

Abstract : The onsite wastewater treatment systems concern 12 to 15 million of people in France. The treatment plant is generally composed by a septic tank as pretreatment, followed by soil infiltration field or sand filtration bed. The vertical drained sand filter provides the purification capacity thanks to the presence of a biomass in form of the biofilm. The dynamic of the biomass growth or the biofilm development is under the impact of filter materials’ nature. In this context, the objective of this work is to understand the mechanisms involved and especially the impact of medium in the functioning of the filtration reactor by comparing two types of packing materials: river sands and crushed aggregates. For this purpose, an experimental study is conducted with pilot unity composed by filtration reactors of 30cm of diameter and different packing thicknesses (15, 30 and 70cm). The reactors packed with two river sands and two crushed aggregates are fed with septic effluent with a volumic hydraulic charge of 12cm/day by 10 batches per day. Based on a characterization of materials, a study of purification performance with biochemical components monitoring of the total biomass and the extracellular matrix of the biofilm is realized by comparing two types of filter materials. The purification performance has presented similar efficiencies of particulates and organic matters removals by fine river sand and fine crushed aggregate. The nitrogen pollutants removals are more effective in the fine river sand which presents the finest granulometry with an alternative of aerobic and anoxic phases along the reactor depth and with a biomass more abundant. The distribution and the quality of the total biomass and the extracellular matrix differentiate between the river sand and the crushed aggregates. As the reference material, the fine river sand presented an earlier stabilization of total biomass growth with a less important production of extracellular exudates compared to the crushed aggregates. The origin of impacts brought by the crushed aggregates might be due to the higher fine particles content which created microenvironments poor in substrates or in oxygen and also due to a more heterogeneous mineralogy. The extracellular components of highest percentage in the biofilm of crushed aggregate are polysaccharides type substances.
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Chen Wang. Comparative study of packing materials of filtration reactors for on-site wastewater treatment. Other. Université de Limoges, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015LIMO0058⟩. ⟨tel-01293699⟩

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