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Low-Strength Wastewater Treatment Using an Anaerobic Baffled Reactor

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A 14.7-L, three-chamber anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR) was used to evaluate the treatment of low-strength synthetic wastewater (chemical oxygen demand [COD] of 300 to 400 mg/L) and assess process reactivation after a prolonged period of inactivity. The reactor was inoculated with anaerobic seed and start-up was immediate. At 26 °C and hydraulic retention times (HRTs) of 24 and 12 hours, COD removal averaged 87.2 and 91.0%, respectively, and biogas yield for methane (CH4) was 0.184 and 0.102 m 3 CH4/kg COD removed, respectively. The ABR was reactivated after two years without feeding. Response was prompt and removal averaged 85.3% even during the initial 10-day period. Lowering temperature to 16 °C did not impair removal efficiency at HRTs of 24 and 12 hours. However, biogas release decreased by 30% and apparent COD conversion to methane dropped by 24 and 31%, respectively. At the end of the study, biomass was mostly in the bottom of the reactor and had moved from the first to the second chamber, while organic stabilization was occurring essentially in the first two chambers (56.1 and 22.4%, respectively, in terms of COD).
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Keywords: ANAEROBIC BAFFLED REACTOR; ANAEROBIC TREATMENT; LOWSTRENGTH WASTEWATER; REACTOR REACTIVATION; REACTOR START-UP

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-03-01

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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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