A start-up strategy was presented and evaluated to obtain a well-established biofilm in a gas lift-reactor capable both for the removal of organic matter and sulphate. Pumice stone was used as material support. The influence of shear forces, given by the biogas recirculation, the effect of the COD/SO 4 -2 ratio and the OLRs increase were evaluated on the reactor performance. From the first stages, cell colonization was observed along with the presence of extracellular polymeric substances. The COD and sulphate removal was over 70%, for all conditions. The increase of gas flow did not have an adverse effect on biofilm development even though there was some detachment. Specific methanogenic activity of the biofilm increased along the experiments. Operational parameters as alkalinity and alkalinity ratio were within the recommended values for the operation with sulphate-rich wastewater. For gas-lift reactors operation it becomes fundamental to have a suitable start-up strategy that takes into account the initial biofilm development from a non-acclimatized biomass.
- Anaerobic biofilm
- Gas-lift reactors