Respirometry tests are a widely employed method in the wastewater treatment field to characterize wastewater streams, assess toxic/inhibitory effects to the biomass, calibrate mathematical models. Respirometry can allow to fractionation the chemical oxygen demand (COD) in biodegradable and inert fractions, but also provide information related to biomass kinetics and stoichiometry through standardized laboratory techniques. Considering the increasing number of emerging contaminants detected in wastewater effluents, such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products and pesticides, respirometry can be a useful tool to promptly assess any toxic or inhibitory effect in wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) operations. Beside conventional activated sludge, in recent years respirometric methods have been applied to innovative fields, such as moving-bed bio-reactors (MBBRs), fungi and microalgae, exploiting natural remediation methods. In particular, respirometry application to microalgae, through the so-called photo-respirometry, has been investigated in the latest years in the treatment of high-loaded streams, allowing resource recovery in biomass form. In this work, respirometric methods are first introduced from a theoretical basis and then critically discussed by considering the experimental apparatus, the available characterization protocols and the fields of application; the most recent literature findings on respirometry are coupled with authors' experience in the field. A comparison between physicochemical methods and respirometry is made. The future research needed on the topic is finally outlined, including the coupling of respirometry with microbial community analysis, potentially leading to an enhanced process understanding, an extended respirometry utilization to get specific kinetic and stoichiometric parameters for modelling purposes, and a wider respirometry application as a diagnosis tool in WWTP operations.

Respirometry tests in wastewater treatment: Why and how? A critical review

Mainardis, Matia;Buttazzoni, Marco;Cottes, Mattia;Moretti, Alessandro;Goi, Daniele
2021-01-01

Abstract

Respirometry tests are a widely employed method in the wastewater treatment field to characterize wastewater streams, assess toxic/inhibitory effects to the biomass, calibrate mathematical models. Respirometry can allow to fractionation the chemical oxygen demand (COD) in biodegradable and inert fractions, but also provide information related to biomass kinetics and stoichiometry through standardized laboratory techniques. Considering the increasing number of emerging contaminants detected in wastewater effluents, such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products and pesticides, respirometry can be a useful tool to promptly assess any toxic or inhibitory effect in wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) operations. Beside conventional activated sludge, in recent years respirometric methods have been applied to innovative fields, such as moving-bed bio-reactors (MBBRs), fungi and microalgae, exploiting natural remediation methods. In particular, respirometry application to microalgae, through the so-called photo-respirometry, has been investigated in the latest years in the treatment of high-loaded streams, allowing resource recovery in biomass form. In this work, respirometric methods are first introduced from a theoretical basis and then critically discussed by considering the experimental apparatus, the available characterization protocols and the fields of application; the most recent literature findings on respirometry are coupled with authors' experience in the field. A comparison between physicochemical methods and respirometry is made. The future research needed on the topic is finally outlined, including the coupling of respirometry with microbial community analysis, potentially leading to an enhanced process understanding, an extended respirometry utilization to get specific kinetic and stoichiometric parameters for modelling purposes, and a wider respirometry application as a diagnosis tool in WWTP operations.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11390/1207286
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