A dynamic model for the activated sludge treatment of coke oven effluents

  • G.F. Tomlins

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This is an Inter-Disciplinary Higher Degree (IHD) thesis about Water Pollution Control in the Iron and Steel Industry. After examining the compositions, and various treatment methods, for the major effluent streams from a typical Integrated Iron and Steel works, it was decided to concentrate investigative work on the activated-sludge treatment of coke-oven effluents. A mathematical model of this process was developed in an attempt to provide a tool for plant management that would enable improved performance, and enhanced control of Works Units. The model differs from conventional models in that allowance is made for the presence of two genera of microorganisms, each of which utilises a particular type of substrate as its energy source. Allowance is also made for the inhibitive effect of phenol on thiocyanate biodegradation, and for the self-toxicity of the bacteria when present in a high substrate concentration environment. The enumeration of the kinetic characteristics of the two groups of micro-organisms was shown to be of major importance. Laboratory experiments were instigated in an attempt to determine accurate values of these coefficients. The use of the Suspended Solids concentration was found to be too insensitive a measure of viable active mass. Other measures were investigated, and Adenosine Triphosphate concentration was chosen as the most effective measure of bacterial populations. Using this measure, a model was developed for phenol biodegradation from experimental results which implicated the possibility of storage of substate prior to metabolism. A model for thiocyanate biodegradation was also developed, although the experimental results indicate that much work is still required in this area.
Date of AwardJul 1978
Original languageEnglish


  • modelling
  • phenol
  • thiocyante
  • ATP
  • activated-sludge

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