Evaluation of aeration energy saving in two modified activated sludge processes

Ingyu Lee, Honglae Lim, Byunghun Jung, Mark F. Colosimo, Hyunook Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A variety of modified activated sludge processes are widely used in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) for removing organics and nutrients (N and P). Since energy consumption in aeration basin accounts for the major part of the overall energy usage in WWTPs, efforts have been made to find ways to reduce aeration energy. In this study, two modified activated sludge processes in a pilot scale designed for nutrient removal were evaluated for the extent of energy saving: (1) ABA2 process - adjusting air on/off period (i.e., with a temporal change); and (2) MB-A2O process - changing volume ratio of aerobic tank to anoxic tank (i.e., with a spatial change). For the 1st process, the air on/off period was fixed at 60min/45min with aerobic fraction being 0.57, while for the 2nd process, the aerobic/anoxic volume ratio was reduced from 0.58 to 0.42. The results demonstrate that the effluent COD, TN, NH4+ and TP concentrations are acceptable while reduced aeration time/volume certainly saves significant energy consumption. To the best of our knowledge, this is 1st attempt to reduce the aeration period or aeration volume to save the aeration energy in these two modified activated sludge processes. The implication of these observations is further discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-78
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • ABA
  • Energy saving
  • MB-AO
  • Modified activated sludge


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