JOURNAL ARTICLE

Anaerobic pre-treatment of herbal-based pharmaceutical wastewater using fixed-film reactor with recourse to energy recovery

T Nandy, S N Kaul
Water Research 2001, 35 (2): 351-62
11228986
The concept of immobilization technology has been incorporated in this research study for biomethanation of high strength herbal based pharmaceutical wastewater. Accordingly, an investigation has been made on laboratory scale to assess the feasibility of an anaerobic fixed film fixed bed reactor system to pre-treat herbal-based pharmaceutical wastewater with recourse to energy recovery, including influence of operating conditions. The work was carried out with laboratory-scale upflow reactor, equipped with nylon scrubber as random support. The reactor was operated at 35 degrees C. COD removal efficiencies ranging from 76 to 98% were achieved for organic loading rates upto 10 kgCOD/m3 d, while the highest organic loading rate (around 48 kg COD/m3 d) led to efficiencies of 46-50%. The influences of hydraulic retention time and substrate concentration were also studied. The reactors did now show destabilization under impulse hydraulic and organic overloadings. Reactor stability was easily achieved under intermittent operation, with breaks, after which the reactors rapidly returned to their optimal performance.

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