Biological wastewater treatment relies on the natural decomposition of organic substances. This is the reason why this process seems to be simple. However, this complex process is not fully understood at the intersection of biochemistry and biology. In biological wastewater treatment, small organisms such as nematodes and bacteria use normal cellular processes to break down organic wastes. Wastewater contains wastes, garbage, and partially digested foods. It may also contain toxins, heavy metals, and pathogenic organisms.
- Aerobic process
- Anaerobic process
Primary treatments such as dissolved air flotation remove substances and sediments from wastewater. Biological wastewater treatment, as a secondary treatment, removes materials left in wastewater after the primary treatment.
Aerobic Wastewater Treatment
- Wastewater generated by paper mills
- Wastewater generated by pulp mills
- Municipal sewage
- Meat processing and other food-related industries
- Wastewater with carbon molecules
- Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment
Anaerobic wastewater treatment, on the other hand, relies on bacteria for the deterioration of organic material. The deterioration occurs in an environment with no oxygen. Anaerobic processes may be used in septic tanks and lagoons. Anaerobic digestion is the best-known anaerobic treatment. This anaerobic wastewater treatment is used to treat effluent from:
- Beverage and food manufacturing
- Chemical effluent
- Municipal wastewater
- Agriculture waste
This anaerobic treatment drives energy recovery. The production of biogas is one of the applications of anaerobic digestion. The primary component of biogas is methane. So, this treatment can turn waste into revenue.