Jinze LiFollow

Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Walter Z. Tang

First Advisor's Committee Title

committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Shonali Laha

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Berrin Tansel

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Tiffany Troxler

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Michael Sukop

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


micro-sieving, partial nitrification/anammox reactor, up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor, leachate, industrial wastewater, unit energy consumption, unit energy production, unit cost

Date of Defense



Innovative technologies such as micro-sieving, Anammox, and up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) hold the key in the sustainable design of Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF). In the past, assessment metrics on the effectiveness and economic feasibility of these technologies have not been systematically investigated. According to the twelve design principles of Sustainable Environmental Engineering, Unit energy and cost metrics could provide universal benchmarks in the design of WRRF. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to design innovative WRRF systems to achieve energy positive. These WRRFs were modeled by developing an Excel model to estimate the unit energy metrics. Database of different wastewater quality was developed according to literature data. An Excel model was also developed to estimate the cost due to the energy saving of innovative systems.

In treating young, medium, and old leachate, systems with the innovative technologies could save the unit energy consumption by 2.24-4.07 kWh/kg Nremoved and the unit cost by $0.86-2.09/kg CODremoved than conventional technologies. Treatment of young leachate costs less than other leachate in terms of per kg COD removed. Although micro-sieving decreases CH4 production, it reduces the size of the UASB. As a result, micro-sieving could reduce the unit cost by 27% compared with systems without primary treatment. The major saving was contributed by UASB which converts BOD to CH4. In addition, partial nitrification/anammox (PN/A) consumes less oxygen in removing nitrogen, which helps food processing treatment system achieve energy positive. In treatment of meat processing wastewater, tannery wastewater, and textile wastewater, the mean unit energy consumptions in innovative systems were 1.49, 1.37, and 1.39 kWh/kg Nremoved. Mean unit energy consumption is close to the unit energy consumption of PN/A. The average unit costs for three types of industrial wastewater are 0.54, 0.57, and 1.12 $/kg CODremoved, respectively. Therefore, meat processing wastewater can be the most efficiently treated by using innovative technologies due to its high biodegradability.

For WWTPs in China, anaerobic-oxic plus anaerobic-anoxic-oxic, oxidation ditch, and sequencing batch reactor were the main technologies. Due to lower energy consumption, SBR is the best technology in small and medium WWTPs in China.





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