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Quantification of the Inert Chemical Oxygen Demand of Raw Wastewater and Evaluation of Soluble Microbial Product Production in Demo-Scale Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket Reactors under Different Operational Conditions

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This paper investigates the production of soluble microbial products (SMPs) in demonstration-scale upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors operated under different conditions and fed with raw wastewater. The results showed that 9.2 ± 1.3% of the influent soluble chemical oxygen demand (COD) could be considered inert to anaerobic treatment and that the amount of COD produced by biomass varied from 30 to 70 mg·L −1, accounting for 45 to 63% of the soluble effluent COD. The accumulation of SMP appeared to be dependent on the hydraulic retention time (HRT) applied to the reactors, with a larger accumulation of SMP observed at the lowest HRT (5 hours); this may have been due to stress conditions caused by high upflow velocity (1.1 m·h −1). In terms of residual COD characterization, ultrafiltration results showed that higher amounts of high molecular weight compounds were found when HRT was the lowest (5 hours), and that the molecular weight distribution depended on the operational condition of the reactors. Biodegradability tests showed that the low and high molecular weight SMPs were only partially degraded anaerobically (10 to 60%) and that the high molecular weight SMPs were difficult to degrade aerobically.

Keywords: anaerobic digestion; biodegradability test; effluent characterization; inert chemical oxygen demand; molecular weight distribution; soluble microbial products

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-06-01

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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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