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Effects of reactor configuration and biomass activity on the performance of upflow static media anaerobic reactors

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Three upflow, static-media anaerobic reactors (USMARs), each with clean-bed volumes of 85 L but with different heights: diameter ratios were operated at 35°C, with C O D loadings varying from 1 to 12 g/ L · d. Height-to-diameter ratios investigated were 1.2, 4.1, and 14.3. The reactors were fed a synthetic substrate made from nonfat dry milk and minerals.

It was hypothesized that the effect of biogas mixing on reactor performance would be greater in tall reactors than in short ones. This was found not to be the case. Based on COD removal, the tall reactor performed only slightly better than the shorter ones at loadings less than 9g/L·d. At higher COD loadings, there was no significant difference in performance. Tracer studies using lithium chloride indicated a completely mixed flow regime at COD loadings in excess of 9g/L·d. The acetogenic methanogenic activity of the VSS in all reactors varied between 0.1 and 0.2 L CH4/g VSS · d at reactor VSS concentrations higher than 1000 mg/L.

Keywords: anaerobic; biomass; configuration; oxygen demand; reactor; upflow

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 1992

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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