The anaerobic treatment of low-strength brewery wastewater in expanded granular sludge bed

M.T. Kato, S. Rebac, G. Lettinga

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Anaerobic treatment of low-strength brewery wastewater, with influent total chemical oxygen demand (COD) (COD(in)) concentrations ranging from 550 to 825 mg/L, was investigated in a pilot-scale 225.5-L expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB) reactor. In an experiment in which the temperature was lowered stepwise from 30 to 12°C, the COD removal efficiency decreased from 73 to 35%, at organic loading rates (OLR) of 11-16.5 g COD/L/d. The applied hydraulic retention time (HRT) and liquid upflow velocity (V(up)) were 1.2 h and 5.8 m/h, respectively. Under these conditions, the acidified fraction of the COD(in) varied from 45 to 90%. In addition to the expected drop in reactor performance, problems with sludge retention were also observed. In a subsequent experiment set at 20°C, COD removal efficiencies exceeding 80% were obtained at an OLR up to 12.6 g COD/L/d, with COD(in) between 630 and 715 mg/L. The values of HRT and V(up) applied were 2.1-1.2 h, and 4.4-7.2 m/h, respectively. The acidified fraction of the COD(in) was above 90%, but sludge washout was not significant. These results indicate that the EGSB potentials can be further explored for the anaerobic treatment of low- strength brewery wastewater, even at lower temperatures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-32
JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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