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Anaerobic fluidized-bed treatment of propellant wastewater

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Treatment of propellant wastewater by anaerobic fluidized-bed bioreactors (FBRs) containing granular activated carbon has been shown to be effective in laboratory and field feasibility studies. These studies were conducted in 100 mm (4 in.) diameter columns (8 L volume) treating low volumes of water taken directly from a propellant-production operation. The contaminant of interest, dinitrotoluene, was converted anaerobically to diaminotoluene (DAT), with subsequent aerobic mineralization of the DAT in an activated-sludge process.

A demonstration of this technology has been conducted at Radford, Virginia, Army Ammunition Plant, using a commercially available 500 mm (20 in.) diameter column (710 L volume) FBR modified for anaerobic operation. The FBR was followed in series by a rotating biological contactor to simulate anaerobic pretreatment at a point source, followed by aerobic treatment at the existing facilities.

Significant differences in the composition of the wastewater stream were encountered between the feasibility study and demonstration. The concentrations of easily degraded solvents (ethanol and ether) were much lower during the demonstration than during the feasibility studies.

The events encountered in scaling up the process from the laboratory to pilot scale are reported, and the results of the pilot-scale demonstration are compared with the laboratory-scale data.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1998-01-01

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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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