Sulfur flows and biosolids processing: Using Material Flux Analysis (MFA) principles at wastewater treatment plants

graphic illustration - WWTP sulfur MFA2

The recent edition of "Journal of Environmental Management" has featured centre publication by Ruth Fisher, JP Alvarez-Gaitan, Richard Stuetz and Stephen Moore.

Sulfur flows and biosolids processing: Using Material Flux Analysis (MFA) principles at wastewater treatment plants

The management of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) has shifted in recent years with a greater focus on resource recovery, rather than just waste disposal. Substances will exit WWTPs into the environment as either gaseous emissions, effluent to the ocean or biosolids which are applied to land. Depending on the substances these flows to environmental sinks can result in environmental impacts.

Sulfur is an important agricultural nutrient and the direct application of biosolids to soils enables its beneficial re-use. However, high flows of sulfur through wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) may cause noxious gaseous emissions, corrosion of infrastructure, inhibit wastewater microbial communities, or contribute to acid rain if the produced biosolids or biogas are combusted. Flows of sulfur throughout the six WWTPs in the Sydney region were mapped using Material Flux Analysis (MFA) in a new paper by Ruth Fisher, Juan Pablo Alvarez Gaitan, Richard Stuetz and Stephen Moore. The paper shows how wastewater treatment can affect the flows of sulfur to the different environmental sinks.

 

The full article can be viewed online at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479717304048