Influence of organic shock loads in an ASBBR treating synthetic wastewater with different concentration levels

Mariana Bueno Moreira, Suzana Maria Ratusznei, José Alberto Domingues Rodrigues, Marcelo Zaiat, Eugênio Foresti
Bioresource Technology 2008, 99 (8): 3256-66
Safe application of the anaerobic sequencing biofilm batch reactor (ASBBR) still depends on deeper insight into its behavior when faced with common operational problems in wastewater treatments such as tolerance to abrupt variations in influent concentration, so called shock loads. To this end the current work shows the effect of organic shock loads on the performance of an ASBBR, with a useful volume of 5L, containing 0.5-cm polyurethane cubes and operating at 30 degrees C with mechanical stirring of 500 rpm. In the assays 2L of two types of synthetic wastewater were treated in 8-h cycles. Synthetic wastewater I was based on sucrose-amide-cellulose with concentration of 500 mg COD/L and synthetic wastewater II was based on volatile acids with concentration ranging from 500 to 2000 mg COD/L. Organic shock loads of 2-4 times the operation concentration were applied during one and two cycles. System efficiency was monitored before and after application of the perturbation. When operating with concentrations from 500 to 1000 mg COD/L and shock loads of 2-4 times the influent concentration during one or two cycles the system was able to regain stability after one cycle and the values of organic matter, total and intermediate volatile acids, bicarbonate alkalinity and pH were similar to those prior to the perturbations. At a concentration of 2000 mg COD/L the reactor appeared to be robust, regaining removal efficiencies similar to those prior to perturbation at shock loads twice the operation concentration lasting one cycle and stability was recovered after two cycles. However, for shock loads twice the operation concentration during two cycles and shock loads four times the operation concentration during one or two cycles filtered sample removal efficiency decreased to levels different from those prior to perturbation, on an average of 90-80%, approximately, yet the system managed to attain stability within two cycles after shock application. Therefore, this investigation envisions the potential of full scale application of this type of bioreactor which showed robustness to organic shock loads, despite discontinuous operation and the short times available for treating total wastewater volume.

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