For aerobic biotreatment processes, oxygen transfer and volatile organic chemical (VOC) emissions can be important operational limitations. By using industrially pure oxygen rather than air as the dissolved oxygen source, higher oxygen transfer rates and significantly lower volatile emissions rates can be achieved. In addition, pure oxygen can eliminate foam formation, reduce the evaporative cooling effects, eliminate dependence on electrical power for aeration, and allow for greater oxygen demand variations.
Due to the cost of oxygen, it is generally more cost effective to use mixing technologies that have higher oxygen transfer efficiencies (and higher mixing energy costs) than are usually used with air-based aeration. These are usually mechanical mixing technologies, rather than diffusion technologies. Several such approaches are discussed.
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