This study examined the feasibility of applying an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor to treat septage. The UASB reactor was operated at 35 ± 1 °C, and the substrate septage had a total solids (TS) concentration of 13 200 mg/L. Reactor operation was initiated
at a hydraulic residence time (HRT) of 10 days; thereafter, the HRT was shortened stepwise to 1.5 days. The TS, volatile solids (VS), and organic loading rates were 1.4 to 9.4 kg TS/m3·d, 5.6 to 8.5 kg VS/m3·d, and 1.1 to 6.7 kg chemical oxygen demand (COD)/m3·d,
respectively. At the organic loading rate of 6.7 kg COD/m3·d (the HRT of 1.5 days), the total COD, soluble COD, and TS and VS removal efficiencies were 68, 74, and 66 and 73%, respectively. The average granule diameter and volatile suspended solids concentration were approximately
0.89 mm and 32 000 mg/L, respectively. Based on results obtained from 7 months of constant methane production and removal efficiencies, which are comparable to values previously reported in the literature for wastewater, it was concluded that a UASB reactor can successfully treat septage.
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