Anaerobic treatment of effluents from an industrial polymers synthesis plant

P. Araya, G. Aroca, R. Chamy

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15 Scopus citations


The feasibility of the anaerobic treatment of an industrial polymer synthesis plant effluent was evaluated. The composition of the wastewater includes acrylates, styrene, detergents, a minor amount of silicates and a significant amount of ferric chloride. The average chemical oxygen demand (COD) corresponding is about 2000 mg/l. The anaerobic biodegradability of the effluent is shown and the toxicity effect on the populations of anaerobic bacteria is evaluated. The results of the anaerobic biodegradation assays show that 62% of the wastewater compounds, measured as COD, could be consumed. An upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor was used in the evaluation, it has a diameter-height ratio of 1:7, and 4-liter volume. The inoculum was obtained from a UASB pilot plant that treats brewery wastewaters. At the beginning of the operation, the biomass showed an anaerobic activity of 0.58 gCOD/(gVSSxd), it decreased only 2.5% in the subsequent 4 months. After 35 days of continuous operation, the reactor was operated at different steady states for 140 days. The COD was maintained at 2200 mg/l in the feed. The results were: organic loading rate (OLR): 4.3 kg COD/(m3xd), hydraulic retention time: 12 h, superficial velocity: 1 m/h, average biogas productivity: 290 L CH4/kg COD fed, biogas composition: 70- 75% methane and a COD removal percentage > 75%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-146
Number of pages6
JournalWaste Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1999


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