Treatment of wastewater from red and tropical fruit wine production by zeolite anaerobic fluidized bed reactor

S Montalvo, L Guerrero, R Borja, I Cortés, E Sánchez, M F Colmenarejo
Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Part. B, Pesticides, Food Contaminants, and Agricultural Wastes 2008, 43 (5): 437-42
A study of the anaerobic treatment of wastewaters derived from red (RWWW) and tropical fruit wine (TFWWW) production was carried out in four laboratory-scale fluidized bed reactors with natural zeolite as bacterial support. These reactors operated at mesophilic temperature (35 degrees C). Reactors R1 and R2 contained Chilean natural zeolite, while reactors R3 and R4 used Cuban natural zeolite as microorganism support. In addition, reactors R1 and R3 processed RWWW, while reactors R2 and R4 used TFWWW as substrate. The biomass concentration attached to zeolites in the four reactors studied was found to be in the range of 44-46 g volatile solids (VS)/L after 90 days of operation time. Both types of zeolites can be used indistinctly in the fluidized bed reactors achieving more than 80%-86% chemical oxygen demand (COD) removals for organic loading rates (OLR) of up to at least 20 g COD/L d. pH values remained within the optimal range for anaerobic microorganisms for OLR values of up to 20 and 22 g COD/L d for RWWW and TFWWW, respectively. Toxicity and inhibition levels were observed at an OLR of 20 g COD/L d in reactors R1 and R3 while processing RWWW, whereas the aforementioned inhibitory phenomena were not observed at an OLR of 24 g COD/L d in R2 and R4, treating TFWWW as a consequence of the lower phenolic compound content present in this substrate. The volatile fatty acid (VFA) levels were always lower in reactors processing TFWWW (R2 and R4) and these values (< 400 mg/L, as acetic acid) were lower than the suggested limits for digester failure. The specific methanogenic activity (SMA) was twice as high in reactors R2 and R4 than in R1 and R3 after 120 days of operation when all reactors operated at an OLR of 20 g COD/L d.

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