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Use of Halophilic Bacteria in Biological Treatment of Saline Wastewater by Fed-Batch Operation

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Biological treatment of saline wastewater by standard activated-sludge cultures typically results in low chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiencies as a result of plasmolysis of cells caused by high salt content (> 1%). Removal of salt from wastewater before biological treatment by reverse osmosis or ion exchange would be quite costly. However, inclusion of salt-tolerant organisms in an activated-sludge culture to improve treatment efficiency is a practical approach developed and presented in this article.

Synthetic wastewater composed of diluted molasses, urea, phosphate, and different amounts of salt (0 to 5% sodium chloride) was treated in an aeration tank operated in fed-batch mode. Halobacter halobium added to activated-sludge culture was used in biological treatment, and results were compared with those obtained with the activated-sludge culture alone. Halobacter addition produced significantly greater COD removal rates and efficiencies (% removal) at salt concentrations greater than 2% salt. At low salt concentrations, performances of both cultures were comparable. Results indicated that saline wastewater containing more than 2% salt can be treated effectively by Halobacter-supplemented, activated-sludge cultures, with COD removal efficiencies greater than 85% within 9 hours of fed-batch operation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-03-01

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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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