Biosorption and biodegradation of pentachlorophenol (PCP) in an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor

Fen-Xia Ye, Ying Li
Biodegradation 2007, 18 (5): 617-24
In order to understand the fate of PCP in upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor (UASB) more completely, the sorption and biodegradation of pentachlorophenol (PCP) by anaerobic sludge granules were investigated. The anaerobic granular sludge degrading PCP was formed in UASB reactor, which was seeded with anaerobic sludge acclimated by chlorophenols. At the hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 20-22 h, and PCP loading rate of 200-220 mg l(-1) d(-1), UASB reactor exhibited good performance in treating wastewater which containing 170-180 mg l(-1) PCP and the PCP removal rate of 99.5% was achieved. Sequential appearance of tetra-, tri-, di-, and mono-chlorophenol was observed in the reactor effluent after 20 mg l(-1) PCP introduction. Sorption and desorption of PCP on the anaerobic sludge granules were all fitted to the Freundlich isotherm equation. Sorption of PCP was partly irreversible. The Freundlich equation could describe the behavior of PCP amount sorbed by granular sludge in anaerobic reactor reasonably well. The results demonstrated that the main mechanism leading to removal of PCP on anaerobic granular sludge was biodegradation, not sorption or volatization.

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