Is phosphorus removal tanking your pH and upsetting your bugs?
Happy bugs. We all want them. Happy bugs make good effluent. The pH of your treatment system is a critical part of keeping your bugs happy. They require a near neutral (pH of 7) to slightly alkaline (pH of 8) environment to thrive. If you have an ammonia limit, pH is even more critical because the nitrifiers consume alkalinity in the nitrification process, reducing the system’s ability to accommodate additional acid without impacting the pH. Maintaining your pH and alkalinity is vital to the health of your bugs.
Conventional phosphorus removal using ferric or aluminum coagulants can make your pH balance even more difficult to maintain. These chemicals are extremely acidic, having a very low pH of 1.5 to 2.2. This means that coagulants like ferric chloride are 100,000 times more acidic than neutral water. It doesn’t take much of these solutions to significantly consume your alkalinity and drive down the pH of your system. To make matters worse, they aren’t very efficient. They remove phosphorus through a floc forming adsorption mechanism that doesn’t bind the phosphorus tightly. This floc formation mechanism requires a high dosage – needing 4 or even more molecules of the aluminum or ferric for every phosphorus molecule removed. That’s a lot of acid! Sure, you can add high pH chemicals like caustic (pH of 12) to return the pH to a level to allow discharge into the receiving stream, but they do not restore the type of alkalinity that your nitrifiers need. Needing to add a caustic feed drives up cost and adds complexity.
Reduce the acidity and keep your bugs happy!
RE300 can drastically reduce the acidity of phosphorus removal. The pH of the RE300 solution is between 3 and 4, which, yes, is still acidic. However, because pH is measured on a logarithmic scale, the RE300 solution is 100 times LESS acidic than a ferric or aluminum-based coagulant. Another main benefit is dosage. RE300 binds phosphorus tightly in an ionic bond, requiring one molecule of RE300 for every molecule of phosphorus removed. This one to one ratio means you need about 3 to 5 times less RE300 to achieve even better results. The overall impact is about 300 to 500 times LESS acid added to your system, less loss of alkalinity and much happier bugs. Even your nitrifiers can be happy with that! In most systems, no additional caustic is required, saving money and reducing complexity.
Achieve even the lowest phosphorus limit reliably and consistently.
The strong ionic bond between RE300 and phosphorus means you can meet even the lowest phosphorus limit reliably and consistently. Wastewater treatment plants using RE300 routinely reach limits of 0.07 mg/L or less. Effluent is clearer, sludge is denser, dewatering is more easier, requiring less polymer, and your entire operation is more efficient.
If you are treating your phosphorus the old-fashioned way, you owe it to yourself and your bugs to explore RE300. Our engineers provide a free consultation to determine your needs and see if the switch makes sense, from an operational and economic standpoint. Contact us at Contact us.
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