Anaerobic treatment of synthetic medium-strength wastewater using a multistage biofilm reactor

S Ghaniyari-Benis, R Borja, S Ali Monemian, V Goodarzi
Bioresource Technology 2009, 100 (5): 1740-5
A laboratory-scale multistage anaerobic biofilm reactor of three compartments with a working volume of 54-L was used for treating a synthetic medium-strength wastewater containing molasses as a carbon source at different influent conditions. The start-up period, stability and performance of this reactor were assessed at mesophilic temperature (35 degrees C). During the start-up period, pH fluctuations were observed because there was no microbial selection or zoning, but as the experiment progressed, results showed that phase separation had occurred inside the reactor. COD removal percentages of 91.6, 91.6, 90.0 and 88.3 were achieved at organic loading rates of 3.0, 4.5, 6.75 and 9.0 kg COD/m(3) day, respectively. A decrease in HRT from 24 to 16 h had no effect on COD removal efficiency. When HRT decreased to 8h, COD removal efficiency was still 84.9%. Recirculation ratios of 0.5 and 1.0 had no effect on COD removal but other factors such as the volatile fatty acid (VFA) content were affected. The effect of toxic shock was also investigated and results showed that the main advantage of using this bioreactor lies in its compartmentalized structure.


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