American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Factors Affecting the Oxygenation Capacity of Disc Aerators in an Oxidation Ditch System

Abdel Ghaly and Skai Edwards

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2011.108.118

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 7, Issue 2

Pages 108-118


Problem statement: The use of aerobic biological methods for the treatment of livestock wastes has resulted in a proliferation of mechanical aeration devices to accomplish the desired treatment. The oxidation ditch system with disc aerators is among the aerobic systems that have been used to treat livestock waste. The main objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of various disc design parameters and system operational parameters on the oxygen transfer coefficient and to study the physical phenomenon of oxygen transfer using high speed movie techniques. Approach: A bench-scale oxidation ditch with a disc aerator was used to conduct a series of experiments to determine the effects of immersion depth (2.5-7.5 cm), disc speed (50-250 rpm), disc thickness (0.32-2.55 cm), hole diameter (0.00-1.92 cm) and number of rotating discs (1-2) on the oxygen transfer coefficient. The unsteady state method with sodium sulfite oxidation was used to deoxygenate the water and the dissolved oxygen concentration was measured with time. Results: The disc speed had the most significant effect on KLa with the immersion depth and hole diameter both showing strong effects and the disc thickness showing less effect. The effect of adding a second disc was comparable to using a single disc of double the thickness at lower speeds while at speeds higher than 200 rpm doubling the thickness of a single disc had less effect than a second disc. Conclusion: The highest oxygen transfer (1.526 min-1) was achieved using two coaxial discs with a disc speed of 250 rpm, a disc thickness of 0.64 cm, a hole diameter of 1.92 cm and an immersion depth of 7.5 cm. Bubble aeration and eddy aeration were the most prevalent mechanisms of oxygen transfer in the oxidation ditch while surface aeration played a relatively small role in oxygen transfer.


© 2011 Abdel Ghaly and Skai Edwards. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.