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A proper wastewater treatment is an important requirement to prevent waterborne diseases

and maintain a healthy environment for any organisms in this world. Besides, a treatment process
which involves microorganisms or living organisms is named as biological wastewater treatment.
There are two types of biological wastewater treatments which are aerobic wastewater treatment
and anaerobic wastewater treatment. In addition, aerobic wastewater treatment is carried out by
aerobic microorganisms. This is because of an aerobic microorganisms require oxygen, therefore
oxygen is supplied for aerobic wastewater treatment tanks. While anaerobic wastewater treatment
is carried out by anaerobic microorganisms. Thus, anaerobic wastewater treatment occurs without
an oxygen supply. Biological wastewater treatment is the key step in the wastewater treatment
process which it is carried out by organisms such as microorganisms, nematodes, small organisms
and others. The organic matter that present in the wastewater is broken down by these organisms.
Biological treatment comes after the primary treatment for further removal of organic matter in
the wastewater.

The objectives of this experiment is to study the aerobic and anaerobic wastewater
treatments. Besides, the objectives of this experiment is to differentiate between the aerobic and
anaerobic wastewater treatment. Other than that, this experiment is to study the flow of the aerobic
and anaerobic wastewater treatment plants.

Aerobic Wastewater Treatment

Aerobic wastewater treatment is a process which governed by aerobic organisms that need
an oxygen for the breaking process. Aerobic wastewater treatment tanks are usually constantly
supplied with oxygen. It is been done by the circulation of air through the tanks. Thus, for effective
functioning of aerobic organisms, the sufficient amounts of oxygen should be present in the aerobic
tanks at all times, as shown in Figure 1.0. Besides, the aeration is properly maintained throughout
aerobic treatment. The example of aerobic wastewater treatment is activated sludge sewage

Figure 1.0: The activated sludge method.

There are three main components in the principle of activated sludge which are an aeration
tank that serves as bioreactor, a settling tank for the separation of activated sludge solids and
treated wastewater, and a return activated sludge equipment to transfer settled activated sludge
from the clarifier to the influent of the aeration tank. An oxygen is introduced to a mixture of
primary treated or screened sewage combined with an organisms, the mixture is known as mixed
liquor. Basically, the dry solids concentration of mixed liquor (MLSS) range from 3 to 6 g/L.
Besides, at the effluent of the aeration tank, mixed liquor is discharged into settling tanks and the
supernatant (treated wastewater) is run off to be discharged to a natural water or undergo further
treatment before discharge. Hence, the settled activated sludge is returned to the head of the
aeration tank to re-seed the new sewage entering the tank and this is to ensure the desired MLSS
concentration in the aeration tank. Due to the biological growth present in the wastewater, excess
sludge eventually accumulates beyond the desired MLSS concentration in the aeration tank. This
amount of solid which called as Waste Activated Sludge (WAS) is removed from the treatment
process to keep the ratio of biomass to food supplied in balance. Therefore, WAS is stored away
from the main treatment process in storage tanks and is further treated by digestion.
Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment

Anaerobic wastewater treatment is a biological treatment process where organisms,

especially bacteria will break down the organic material in the wastewater in an oxygen absent
environment. In addition, anaerobic digestion is well-known as anaerobic wastewater treatment
process. The degradation of organic material is done anaerobically. Besides, for the effective
anaerobic digestion of organic materials, the entry of air into anaerobic tanks is prevented. During
the anaerobic digestion, methane and carbon dioxide are produced. Methane is a biogas. Hence,
anaerobic digestion process can be used to produce biogas which can be utilized as electricity.

Figure 1.1: Anaerobic contact reactor.

Anaerobic wastewater treatments on wastewater are normally implemented when treating

more concentrated wastewater. The example of anaerobic wastewater treatment is automated
anaerobic digestion treatment plant. The anaerobic sludge which contains various microorganisms
that work together to eventually convert an organic material to biogas via hydrolysis and
acidification. The biogas typically consists of 70% methane and 30% carbon dioxide with residual
fractions of other gases such as hydrogen gas. The contact reactor is comparable with a
conventional activated sludge system, but under anaerobic conditions, as shown in Figure 1.1. The
sludge then will mixed with wastewater in the reactor and then is separated in the sedimentation
tank and returned to the reactor. Besides, in the anaerobic upflow reactor, the influent is introduced
at the bottom of the vertical reactor as shown in Figure 1.1. The sludge in the reactor is primarily
grain shaped and forms a blanket in the reactor, with the most compact sludge grains at the bottom
and the lighter grains and heavier sludge floccules above it. Thus, a very light sludge floccules will
be released by the upward flow but can potentially be collected in a sedimentation tank. In addition,
the biogas is collected and disposed of at the top of the reactor, separately from the partly purified
water and the sludge.