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Cephalexin, a constituent of cephalosporin group used for the treatment of bronchitis and other heart diseases due to its enhanced oral activity. The effluent from these industries contain disintegrated form of the drug contributing high chemical oxygen demand (COD), volatile solids and organic solvent. A laboratory scale study was conducted to evaluate the efficiency of fluidized bed reactor operated under anaerobic condition with bioaugmentation to treat the cephalexin based pharmaceutical effluent. The main objective of the study was to show that bioaugmentation could be used to promote biological treatment to applications where conventional operation might be difficult or unfavourable. The effluent with COD of 12000 to 15000 mg/L was treated in a fluidized bed reactor with a hydraulic retention time of 3 to 12 h. The reactor was unable to maintain consistent removal in conventional mode of operation due to an inability to retain and grow biomass. The removal efficiency after inoculation from a sequencing batch reactor was related to influent concentration, mass of inoculum and hydraulic retention time characterized by calculating the initial food to microorganism ratio. Continuous COD removal efficiency attained a maximum value of 88.5% using bioaugmentation through periodic addition of acclimated cells every 2 days with 30 to 73.2 g of cells from an off-line enricher reactor.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2000

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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