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Organic loading effects on the treatment of phenolic wastewaters by sequencing batch reactors

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The biodegradability of high concentrations of phenol and ocresol in wastewater and the impact of these toxicants on sludge settleability was investigated. Sequencing batch reactors were utilized to treat phenol and ocresol aerobically at a hydraulic retention time of 1 day and a solids residence time of 14 days. The reactors achieved greater than 99.5% removal of phenol and o-cresol at toxicant loadings in the ranges of 0.1-0.8 kg phenol/m3 · d and 0.1-0.6 kg o-cresol/m3 · d. The average 5-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiencies were approximately 99% and 94%, respectively. High toxicant loadings were not observed to hinder the biodegradability of other waste constituents, reflected by the effluent BOD5 being consistently less than 5mg/L, or impair sludge settleability because the effluent total suspended solids (TSS) and sludge volume index (SVI) were consistently approximately 12 mg/L and 80 mL/g, respectively.

Keywords: aerobic treatment; o-cresol; phenol; sequencing batch reactor; sludge settleability; toxicant loading rate

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 1993

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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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