Impact of high saline wastewaters on anaerobic granular sludge functionalities

D. Jeison, A. Del Rio, J. B. Van Lier

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46 Scopus citations


Three UASB reactors were operated at different salinity levels in order to assess the effects on the granular sludge properties. High levels of activity inhibition were observed at sodium concentrations over 7 g Na+/L, which resulted in low applicable organic loading rates and VFA accumulation in reactor effluents. However, either sludge adaptation or selection for saline resistant microorganisms occurred, which could be concluded from the observed increase in the 50% activity inhibitory concentrations of sodium during continuous flow experiments. Changes in Na+ susceptibility in time are likely to be expected when treating saline wastewaters. The latter was evidenced by the high sodium tolerance of granular methanogenic sludge coming from a full-scale industrial reactor treating such wastewater. High salinity conditions resulted in a reduced granule strength, predicting process instabilities during long term reactor operation. Batch tests showed that high sodium concentrations seemed to displace the calcium from the granular sludge, a factor known to affect anaerobic granules formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-819
Number of pages5
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcium
  • Granular sludge
  • Granule strength
  • Saline wastewater


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