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Anaerobic Treatment of High-Saline Wastewater Using Halophilic Methanogens in Laboratory-Scale Anaerobic Filters

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The presence of a high concentration of sodium in wastewater is considered inhibitory for anaerobic biological treatment. This research was designed to investigate the potential use of halophilic methanogens and a mixed culture of halophilic methanogens and digester sludge, in anaerobic filters, for treatment of organic pollutants in high-saline wastewater at 35°C. Data related to startup of the filters are presented. Both halophilic and mixed-culture anaerobic filters were able to operate at a sodium chloride concentration of 35 g/L, at organic loading rates (OLRs) of 6.2 and 5 kg chemical oxygen demand (COD)/m 3 · d, respectively. The COD removal efficiency was as high as 80%, and the systems were able to maintain a low volatile fatty acids concentration of 500 mg/L. No significant difference in COD removal was observed between the halophilic filter and the mixed-culture filter. Increasing the salt concentration to 37 g/L at an OLR of 3 kg/m 3 · d caused system failure.

Keywords: anaerobic filter; halophilic methanogens; mixed culture; salinity; startup

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-02-01

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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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