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Anaerobic Biological Treatment of Alginate Production Wastewaters in a Pilot-Scale Expended Granular Sludge Bed Reactor Under Moderate to Low Temperatures

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Psychrophilic anaerobic digestion recently has been demonstrated as a cost-effective option for the treatment of a range of wastewater categories. In this study, the treatment of alginate production wastewaters was carried out in a pilot-scale expended granular sludge bed (EGSB) reactor. After a 40-day startup with two inocula, a 163-day experiment was run, from moderate to low temperatures, to treat seaweed-based-production wastewater. The results showed that inoculating with the active granular sludge instead of flocculent biomass can remarkably speed up the startup, and, at applied organic loading rates of 1.5 to 3.0 kg chemical oxygen demand (COD)/m3·d, COD removal efficiencies of 55.4 to 72.6% were achieved. The volatile suspended solids ratio decreased slowly with operation time, as a result of the extremely slow growth rates of microorganisms and the accumulation of inorganic substances. Morphological examination and particle-size distribution of the granules revealed their tendency to disintegrate. Inorganic precipitates, microorganism shift, and substrate limitations may have contributed to it.

Keywords: alginate; ambient temperature; anaerobic treatment; expended granular sludge bed reactor; low strength

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Environmental Science and Technology, Shanghai Jiaotong University Shanghai P. R. China, URL:

Publication date: 2010-08-01

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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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