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Effect of a Starch-Rich Industrial Wastewater on the Acid-Phase Anaerobic Digestion Process

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This research investigated the effect of varying the starch-rich, industrial-wastewater component of mixtures with municipal wastewater fed to an anaerobic digester. A laboratory-scale, completely-mixed anaerobic digester was operated at an HRT of 30 h, an SRT of 10 d, and an ambient temperature of 21.5 ± 1.5 °C. The industrial-to-municipal ratios tested were 1:3, 1:1, 3:1, and 100% industrial by volume. Steady-state, acidogenic conditions were achieved for all runs, except 100% industrial. The pH was observed to drop substantially as the industrial constituent of the feed increased. Net volatile fatty acids (VFA) production reached a plateau of approximately 800 mg/L at ratios of 1:1 and higher, while volatile suspended solids (VSS) reduction steadily increased as the industrial component rose. The specific VFA and soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD) production rates leveled off at approximately 0.070 mgVFA/mgVSS·d and 0.124 mgSCOD/mgVSS·d, respectively, for all the mixtures investigated, except for 100% industrial. In this latter case, both rates dropped dramatically. Finally, acetic and propionic acid concentrations fell as the industrial proportion of the mixture increased. This was compensated by a rise in butyric acid production.

Keywords: acid-phase; anaerobic digestion; biological nutrient removal; starch wastewater

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2005

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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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