Evaluation of an integrated anaerobic/aerobic SBR system for the treatment of wool dyeing effluents
This work examined the performance of a sequencing batch reactor treating dyeing effluents from a factory that processes mainly wool and wool/polyester blends. Different operational conditions were evaluated, namely the influence of the anaerobic and the subsequent aerobic phase on the organic load removal, as well as the effect of the length of the aeration period (from 8 to 12h) on process efficiency. A comparison between a fill stage in fast and slow modes was carried out. Results indicate that the cycle 2 conditions (fast fill and 12h aeration time) improved the overall efficiency (85±6% soluble COD and 95±4% BOD5 removal yields) with a predominant COD uptake occurring in the aerobic stage. Slow, linear COD removal was observed in the anaerobic phase, in contrast with an exponential COD decrease in the oxic phase. For SS a level under 100mg/l was general achieved in the exit of the reactor. With respect to dye degradation, a noticeable decrease of the absorbance measured in the UV–visible range was observed. This could be explained by the reduction of the azo bonds of some of the present dyes in the anaerobic step, in which ORP values lower than –400mV were attained. Some oxidation of anthraquinone sulphonate dyes and of the aromatic amines resulting from azo bond cleavage could also have been taken place, as well as bioelimination mechanisms such as dye sorption.