Study on biodegradability of terephthalic acid in polyester fabric alkali-peeling process wastewater

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Terephthalic acid (TA) and ethylene glycol (EG) are the main pollutants in polyester fabric alkali-peeling process wastewater (PAP-wastewater). The biodegradability of TA is crucial to the deep treatment of PAP-wastewater. Batch and continuous experiments were adopted to study the biodegradation of TA in synthetic wastewater. In anoxic batch experiments TA began to degrade gradually after EG was depleted completely. However, in aerobic batch experiments the biodegradation curves of TA in the presence of EG were almost identical to those of TA in the absence of EG. The combined process of anoxic hydrolysis–acidification bioreactor (HABR) and aerobic hybrid membrane bioreactor (HMBR) was employed to treat synthetic PAP-wastewater in continuous experiments. When TA was fed as sole substrate, about 6.1% was removed in the anoxic HABR and 92.1% was biodegraded in the aerobic HMBR. When TA and EG were fed as substrate, only 1.9% of TA was biodegraded in the anoxic HABR and 96.6% of TA was removed in the aerobic HMBR. By contrast, most EG was removed in the anoxic HABR. The experimental results revealed that the combined process of anoxic HABR and aerobic HMBR was an attractive alternative for the treatment of PAP-wastewater and other similar wastewater.

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