Effects of Aeration and Quantity of Effective Microorganisms (EM) Balls for Water Quality Restoration

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wilawan khanitchaidecha
Auppatham Nakaruk
Yumatorn Mingmongkol
Khakhanang Ratananikom
Duangdao Channei


The simple and low cost water treatment of effective microorganisms (EM) technology was applied to remove NH4-N and carbon content via EM balls, which were prepared from EM stock, molasses and dried bran. The opened reactors were operated under different air supplies (namely no aeration and aeration reactors) and number of EM balls (namely 1EM, 2EM and 3EM reactors). The results revealed that the use of EM balls caused the immediately reduction of NH4-N and COD from active microorganisms activity. However, the decomposition of substrates contents in EM balls led to the increasing NH4-N and COD concentrations, and both pollutants were again decreased consequently. The aeration reactor achieved the greater pollutants removal (83% for total nitrogen and 80% for COD) as well as the greater NH4-N reduction rate (8.8 mg/L-day) rather than the no aeration reactor (77% of total nitrogen, 60% for COD and 2.8 mg/L-day for NH4-N reduction rate) removal. In addition, the aeration reactor also provided the low water turbidity after operating for 17 days. In the meanwhile, the number of EM balls had significant impacts on pollutants removal; the best performance was observed in 2EM reactor, and followed by 1EM reactor and 3EM reactor. This was because the excessive EM balls led to very high NH4-N and COD releasing from substrates decomposition. The optimal number of EM balls and affordable cost from continuous aeration should be concerned for on-site water quality improvement.


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