Organic carbon recovery modeling for a rotating belt filter and its impact assessment on a plant-wide scale

Chitta Ranjan Behera, Domenico Santoro, Krist V. Gernaey, Gürkan Sin*

*Corresponding author for this work

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In this study, we perform a systematic plant-wide assessment of the organic carbon recovery concept on wastewater treatment plants by an advanced cellulose recovery enabling technology called rotating belt filter (RBF). To this end, first, an empirical model is developed to describe organic carbon recovery by the RBF, which is then used for the plant-wide performance evaluation to further understand the impact of organic carbon recovery by framing four different scenarios. The key features of the scenario analysis are: (i) an RBF operating with thick mat increases methane production (around 10 %) and brings down aeration energy demand (by 8 %) compared to the primary clarifier (PC) and, (ii) the sludge retention time (SRT) of the activated sludge (AS) tank increases by 55 % when an RBF runs with thick mat and therefore promotes higher nitrification rate, (iii) organic carbon recovery by the RBF does not increase the greenhouse gas (N2ON2O) emission. Further sensitivity analysis indicates that the impact of the organic carbon recovery concept depends on the wastewater characteristics, especially the cellulose content and its biodegradability. Overall, the organic carbon recovery technology can be used to provide plant specific improvements achieved by maximizing organic carbon recovery in the form of methane gas or enhancing nitrogen removal depending on the treatment plant operation objectives and priorities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Pages (from-to)1965-1976
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Organic carbon recovery
  • RBF
  • Cellulose
  • Impact assessment
  • Methane production
  • Aeration energy demand

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