A Wastewater Treatment Model for Waste Heat Utilization Assessment

Robert N. Amundsen
John D. Keenan

DOI: 10.2190/AA5K-2K11-TCMF-3YMT


Thermal effluents from power plants can be used to accelerate the treatment of wastewater. Under controlled temperature conditions, retention time in anaerobic digesters and oxidation ponds is minimized. This article presents models for simulating the performance of anaerobic digesters, algae ponds, and the U-tube aeration system. Materials balances are provided for the fermentation of water hyacinths into ethanol and the production of clams and crayfish. Heat balances are performed for an anaerobic digester and for a water hyacinth pond with a protective plastic cover. Flow requirements are examined from both oxygen replenishment and metabolite reduction perspectives. Livestock manure and municipal wastewater can yield methane through anaerobic digestion, and ethanol through the fermentation of water hyacinths grown in wastewater. The nutrient-laden effluents can be used to produce algae, which serves as food for freshwater clams and crayfish. By simulating the biological treatment of wastewater as part of an integrated waste heat utilization complex, we are able to evaluate the benefits of thermal enrichment in terms of the valuable byproducts and waste treatment services provided.

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