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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

ISSN 2095-2201

ISSN 2095-221X(Online)

CN 10-1013/X

Postal Subscription Code 80-973

2018 Impact Factor: 3.883

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2019, Vol. 13 Issue (6) : 85
Effects of Al3+ on pollutant removal and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) under anaerobic, anoxic and oxic conditions
Lanhe Zhang1,2, Jing Zheng1, Jingbo Guo3(), Xiaohui Guan1, Suiyi Zhu4, Yanping Jia1, Jian Zhang1, Xiaoyu Zhang2, Haifeng Zhang1
1. School of Chemical Engineering, Northeast Electric Power University, Jilin 132012, China
2. Key Laboratory of Songliao Aquatic Environment, Ministry of Education, Jilin Jianzhu University, Changchun 130118, China
3. School of Civil and Architecture Engineering, Northeast Electric Power University, Jilin 132012, China
4. School of Environment, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130117, China
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The highest removal efficiencies of COD and TN were achieved under 10 mg/L of Al3+.

The highest TP removal efficiency occurred under 30 mg/L of Al3+.

EPS, PS and PN concentrations increased with the addition of Al3+.

Sludge properties significantly changed with the addition of Al3+.

Aluminum ions produced by aluminum mining, electrolytic industry and aluminum-based coagulants can enter wastewater treatment plants and interact with activated sludge. They can subsequently contribute to the removal of suspended solids and affect activated sludge flocculation, as well as nitrogen and phosphorus removal. In this study, the effects of Al3+ on pollutant removal, sludge flocculation and the composition and structure of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) were investigated under anaerobic, anoxic and oxic conditions. Results demonstrated that the highest chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total nitrogen (TN) removal efficiencies were detected for an Al3+ concentration of 10 mg/L. In addition, the maximal dehydrogenase activity and sludge flocculation were also observed at this level of Al3+. The highest removal efficiency of total phosphorus (TP) was achieved at an Al3+ concentration of 30 mg/L. The flocculability of sludge in the anoxic zone was consistently higher than that in the anaerobic and oxic zones. The addition of Al3+ promoted the secretion of EPS. Tryptophan-like fluorescence peaks were detected in each EPS layer in the absence of Al3+. At the Al3+ concentration of 10 mg/L, fulvic acid and tryptophan fluorescence peaks began to appear, while the majority of protein species and the highest microbial activity were also detected. Low Al3+ concentrations (<10 mg/L) could promote the removal efficiencies of COD and TN, yet excessive Al3+ levels (>10 mg/L) weakened microbial activity. Higher Al3+ concentrations (>30 mg/L) also inhibited the release of phosphorus in the anaerobic zone by reacting with PO43-.

Keywords Extracellular polymeric substances      Activated sludge      Aluminum ion      A2O      Wastewater     
Corresponding Authors: Jingbo Guo   
Issue Date: 19 November 2019
 Cite this article:   
Lanhe Zhang,Jing Zheng,Jingbo Guo, et al. Effects of Al3+ on pollutant removal and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) under anaerobic, anoxic and oxic conditions[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2019, 13(6): 85.
Fig.1  Schematic diagram of the A2O process.
Index Unit Value
COD mg/L 495–505
TN mg/L 65–71
NH4+-N mg/L 52–56
TP mg/L 7.5–8.0
pH 7.4–7.8
T 19–25
Tab.1  Influent wastewater specifications
Fig.2  Effects of Al3+ on COD, TN and TP removal efficiencies in the anaerobic, anoxic and oxic zones. a1, a2 and a3 represent COD, TN and TP changes in the anaerobic zone; b1, b2 and b3 represent COD, TN and TP changes in the anoxic zone; and c1, c2 and c3 represent COD, TN and TP changes in the oxic zone.
Fig.3  Effects of Al3+ on the dehydrogenase content in the different zones of the A2O process.
Fig.4  Effect of Al3+ on the sludge flocculation in the anaerobic, anoxic and oxic zones.
Fig.5  Effects of Al3+ on sludge particle size and Zeta potential in the anaerobic, anoxic and oxic zones.
Fig.6  SEM analysis of activated sludge in different zones under varying Al3+ concentrations. (a), (b) and (c) (including 1–4) represent the anaerobic, anoxic and oxic zones, respectively, while 1–4 represent the Al3+ concentrations of 0, 10, 30 and 40 mg/L, respectively.
Fig.7  Effects of Al3+ on EPS, PN and PS in different zones of the A2O process.
Fig.8  3D fluorescence spectra of LB-EPS under varying concentrations of Al3+ in different zones of the A2O process. (a), (b) and (c) (including 1–4) represent the anaerobic, anoxic and oxic zones, respectively.
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