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Influence of Nutrients on Biomass Evolution in an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket Reactor Degrading Sulfate-Laden Organics

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Abstract:

This paper describes the effect of the nutrients iron (Fe), nickel (Ni), zinc (Zn), cobalt (Co), and molybdenum (Mo) on biomass evolution in an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor metabolizing synthetic sulfate-laden organics at varying operating conditions during a period of 540 days. A bench-scale model of a UASB reactor was operated at a temperature of 35 ° C for a chemical oxygen demand-to-sulfate (COD/SO4 2−) ratio of 8.59 to 2.0, a sulfate loading rate of 0.54 to 1.88 kg SO4 2−/m3˙d, and an organic loading rate of 1.9 to 5.75 kg COD/m3˙d. Biomass was characterized in terms of total methanogenic activity, acetate-utilizing methanogenic activity, total sulfidogenic activity, acetate-utilizing sulfidogenic activity, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Nickel and cobalt limitation appears to affect the activity of hydrogen-utilizing methane-producing bacteria (HMPB) significantly without having an appreciable effect on the activity of acetate-utilizing methane-producing bacteria (AMPB). Nickel and cobalt supplementation resulted in increased availability and, consequently, restoration of biomass activity and process performance. Iron limitation and sulfidogenic conditions resulted in the growth of low-density, hollow, fragile granules that washed out, causing process instability and performance deterioration. Iron and cobalt supple-mentation indicated significant stimulation of AMPB with slight inhibition of HMPB. Examination of biomass through SEM indicated a population shift with dominance of sarcina-type organisms and the formation of hollow granules. Granule disintegration was observed toward the end of the study.

Keywords: GRANULE DISINTEGRATION; HOLLOW GRANULES; METHANE-PRODUCING BACTERIA; METHANOGENIC ACTIVITY; NUTRIENT; SULFATE-LADEN ORGANICS; SULFATE-REDUCING BACTERIA; SULFIDOGENIC ACTIVITY; UPFLOW ANAEROBIC SLUDGE BLANKET REACTOR

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143004X141843

Publication date: November 1, 2004

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  • 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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