University of Tehran

Performance evaluation of an anaerobic baffled reactor Treating wheat flour starch industry wastewater

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During the last 30 years, there has been an increasing demand for more efficient systems for the treatment of wastewater due to increasingly stringent discharge standards now widely adopted by various national and international agencies (Akunna and Clark, 2000). The treatment of both domestic and industrial wastewater is usually carried out using biological methods due to their lower costs compared to chemical methods (Langenhoff et al., 2000). Great advances have been made over the last 20 years in anaerobic reactor design and in understanding the complex processes that occur in anaerobic digestion (Langenhoff and Stucky, 2000). The successful application of anaerobic systems to the treatment of industrial wastewater is critically dependent on the development and use of high rate anaerobic bioreactors. These reactors achieve a high reaction rate per unit reactor volumes in terms of kgCOD/m3.d by retaining the biomass Solid Retention Time, (SRT) in the reactor independently of the incoming wastewater Hydraulic Retention Time, (HRT), (Barber and Stucky, 1999). Such separation allows the slow growing anaerobic bacteria remain within the reactor independent of the wastewater flow. This allows higher volumetric loads and produces significantly enhanced removal efficiencies (Akunna and Clark, 2000). In contrast to domestic wastewater, industrial effluents pose
many problems for treatment and such effluents are subject to daily and sometimes seasonal fluctuations with respect to both their flow and strength (Nachaiyasit and Stucky, 1997a). The characteristics of food-processing wastes show high variation in Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Total Suspended Solids (TSS) and flow rate. The wastes may be highly alkaline or highly acidic. Mineral materials (N and P) may be absent or may be present in excess of the ratio necessary to promote good environmental conditions for biological treatment (Nemerow and Dusgopta, 1991).

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