Anaerobic biological treatment of phenolic wastewater at 15-18 degrees C

Gavin Collins, Clare Foy, Sharon McHugh, Thérèse Mahony, Vincent O'Flaherty
Water Research 2005, 39 (8): 1614-20
Low-temperature, or psychrophilic (<20 degrees C) anaerobic digestion has been proven feasible for the mineralisation of simple wastewaters. In this study, hybrid expanded granular sludge bed-anaerobic filter (EGSB-AF) bioreactors were used to evaluate the feasibility of psychrophilic digestion for the treatment of phenol-containing wastewater. Efficient chemical oxygen demand and phenol removal were observed at organic and phenol loading rates of 5 kg COD m(-3)d(-1) and 0.4-1.2 kg phenol m(-3)d(-1) (400-1200 mg phenol [l wastewater](-1)), respectively. There was no long-term accumulation of volatile fatty acids in the reactor systems. Methanogenic activity was developed under psychrophilic conditions but anaerobic methane-producing populations remained mesophilic throughout the trial of 415 days.

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