Research Article Open Access

Performance Evaluation of an Oxidation Ditch System with a Disc Aerator

Abdel Ghaly1 and Ashley Thistle1
  • 1 Department of Process Engineering and Applied Science Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


Problem statement: The oxidation ditch system has been used to treat various types of wastewaters. Several types of aerators are used to supply the treatment process with oxygen. Among these devices, the disc aerator has certain advantages regarding foam generation over the brush and paddle type rotors, but the main disadvantages of this aerator is the limited oxygenation capacity. The main objectives of this study were to study the effects of various design parameters and system operation parameters on the oxygenation capacity of the system. Approach: A bench scale oxidation ditch system equipped with a disc aerator was used to gain better understanding of the phenomena of oxygen transfer and to study the effects of hole diameter, number of holes per disc, disc thickness, disc speed, immersion depth and number of discs on the oxygenation capacity of the system. The unsteady state method with sulphite oxidation was used to deoxygenate the water. The test involved chemical removal of dissolved oxygen from water followed by oxygenation. The power consumed was measured, the oxygen transfer coefficient was determined and both the oxygenation capacity and oxygenation efficiency were calculated. Results: The oxygen transfer coefficient was affected by the immersion depth, hole diameter, disc speed, disc thickness and number of discs, with the disc speed having the greatest effect. The results showed that three physical processes simultaneously contributed to oxygen transfer by the disc aerator: bubble aeration, eddy aeration and surface aeration. Conclusion: The use of sodium sulphite with cobalt chloride for deoxygenation of the water via the oxidation ditch was effective and the results were very consistent and repeatable. The aerator disc of 2.55 cm thickness, 1.92 cm diameter and 48 holes was found to achieve the highest oxygenation capacity. The system is anticipated to provide a broad range of oxygen transfer rates under actual conditions (23-164 mgO2/L-h) to meet varying process demands encountered in aerobic treatment systems.

American Journal of Applied Sciences
Volume 8 No. 7, 2011, 662-674


Submitted On: 7 April 2011 Published On: 24 June 2011

How to Cite: Ghaly, A. & Thistle, A. (2011). Performance Evaluation of an Oxidation Ditch System with a Disc Aerator. American Journal of Applied Sciences, 8(7), 662-674.

  • 15 Citations



  • Oxidation ditch
  • aeration
  • deoxygenate
  • oxygen transfer
  • oxygenation capacity
  • disc aeration
  • coefficient
  • biological treatment
  • mass transfer mechanisms
  • diffusion coefficient
  • liquid phase
  • sodium sulphite