Removal of chemical oxygen demand, nitrogen, and heavy metals using a sequenced anaerobic-aerobic treatment of landfill leachates at 10-30 degrees C

Sergey Kalyuzhnyi, Marina Gladchenko, Andrey Epov, Vasu Appanna
Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 2003, 109 (1): 181-95
As a first step of treatment of landfill leachates (total chemical oxygen demand [COD]: 1.43-3.81 g/L; total nitrogen: 90-162 mg/L), performance of laboratory upflow anaerobic sludge bed reactors was investigated under mesophilic (30 degrees C), submesophilic (20 degrees C), and psychrophilic (10 degrees C) conditions. Under hydraulic retention times (HRTs) of about 0.3 d, when the average organic loading rates (OLRs) were about 5 g of COD/(L.d), the total COD removal accounted for 81% (on average) with the effluent concentrations close to the anaerobic biodegradability limit (0.25 g of COD/L) for mesophilic and submesophilic regimes. The psychrophilic treatment conducted under an average HRT of 0.34 d and an average OLR of 4.22 g of COD/(L.d) showed a total COD removal of 47%, giving effluents (0.75 g of COD/L) more suitable for subsequent biologic nitrogen removal. All three anaerobic regimes used for leachate treatment were quite efficient for elimination of heavy metals (Fe, Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd) by concomitant precipitation in the form of insoluble sulfides inside the sludge bed. The application of aerobic/ anoxic biofilter as a sole polishing step for psychrophilic anaerobic effluents was acceptable for elimination of biodegradable COD and nitrogen approaching the current standards for direct discharge of treated wastewater.

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