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Comparative performance of anaerobic filters at mesophilic and thermophilic temperatures

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Anaerobic filters were operated at mesophilic and thermophilic temperatures with hydraulic retention times (HRTs) of 12, 24, and 48 hours over a COD loading range from 2.75 g/L/day to 49.5 g/L/day (172 to 3090 lb/1000 cu ft/day). The purpose of the research was to determine the effect of HRT and organic (COD) loading as independent variables. Results indicated that the mesophilic systems were more sensitive to HRT than were the thermophilic systems, with significant decreases in performance of the mesophilic systems with decreases in HRT. The thermophilic reactors showed virtually no reduction in performance with decreased HRT. The increase in organic load produced a reduction in removal efficiency at all HRTs for the mesophilic reactors. The effect of organic load was more significant at the lower HRTs for the mesophilic reactors. The thermophilic units, on the other hand, displayed a reduction in chemical oxygen demand (COD) only at the high loadings while at an HRT of 48 hours. The increase in loadings showed little effect at the lower HRTs (24 and 12 hours) when the systems were able to flush the inhibitory substances from the reactors. Overall, the thermophilic systems were able to treat the waste at more than twice the COD loading rate of the mesophilic systems.

Keywords: anaerobic filters; mesophilic temperatures; thermophilic temperatures

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 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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