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Initial studies on the temperature-phased anaerobic biofilter process

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Abstract:

The temperature-phased anaerobic biofilter (TPAB) process is a new high-rate anaerobic treatment system that includes a thermophilic biofilter connected in series to a mesophilic biofilter providing for two-temperature, two-phase treatment.

Three TPAB systems with thermophilic:mesophilic reactor size ratios of 1:7, 1:3, and 1:1 were operated at system hydraulic retention times (HRTs) of 24, 36, and 48 hours at temperatures of 56°C in the thermophilic phase and 35°C in the mesophilic phase. The three TPAB systems achieved soluble and total chemical oxygen demand (COD) reductions in excess of 97% and 90%, respectively, for a synthetic milk substrate over a range of system COD loadings from 2 to 16 g COD/L/d. There was little difference in performance between the three TPAB systems based on COD reduction and methane production, making it feasible to use a smaller thermophilic first phase in the TPAB system.

At the 48-hour system HRT, the 6-hour thermophilic phase biofilter reached saturation loading at a COD load of 48 g/L/d. After further increases in organic loading, the methane production decreased in the thermophilic first phase and increased in the corresponding mesophilic second phase while levels of n-valeric and butyric acids increased significantly. It is proposed that a microbial population shift occurred in the thermophilic first phase at high organic loadings at low HRTs. Although a decrease in methane production from the thermophilic phase was observed, the performance of the overall two-stage TPAB system did not decline.

The TPAB systems were observed to outperform single-stage anaerobic filters operated at equivalent HRTs and organic loadings.

Keywords: ANAEROBIC TREATMENT; BIOFILTER; MESOPHILIC; TEMPERATURE PHASING; THERMOPHILIC

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/106143095X133356

Publication date: 1995-11-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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