Effect of a chemical synthesis-based pharmaceutical wastewater on performance, acetoclastic methanogenic activity and microbial population in an upflow anaerobic filter

Ince B., Selcuk A., Ince O.

JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY, vol.77, no.6, pp.711-719, 2002 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 77 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/jctb.629
  • Page Numbers: pp.711-719


The performance of an upflow anaerobic filter (UAF) treating a chemical synthesis-based pharmaceutical wastewater was evaluated under various operating conditions. During start-up, the UAF was initially fed by glucose till an organic loading rate (OLR) of approximately 7.5 kg COD m(-3) day(-1) with a hydraulic retention time of 2.3 days. A soluble COD removal efficiency of 98% was achieved before the addition of the wastewater. Initially, the filter inertia was acclimatized to the wastewater by sequential feeding of 10% (w/v), 30% (w/v) and 70% (w/v) of the pre-aerated wastewater mixed with glucose followed by a 100% (w/v) pre-aerated wastewater. During the operation, the COD removal efficiency and methane yield decreased to 75% and 0.30 m(3) CH(4)kg(-1) CODremoved respectively. As the UAF became accustomed to the pre-aerated wastewater, raw wastewater was fed in increasing ratios of 20% (w/v), 60% (w/v) and 80% (w/v) with the pre-aerated wastewater as the remaining part. During this stage of the operation, a COD removal efficiency in a range of 77-86% was achieved and the methane yield decreased to 0.24 m(3) CH(4)kg(-1) CODremoved. Finally, 100% (w/v) raw wastewater was fed and a COD removal efficiency of 65% was achieved with a methane yield of 0.20m(3) CH(4)kg(-1) CODremoved. At the end of the operation, acetoclastic methanogenic activity was only measured in the bottom section of the UAF, this showed a 90% reduction in comparison with activity of inoculation sludge. Microscopic examinations revealed that rod-shaped methanogens remained as the dominant species whereas Methanosarcina-like species and filaments were present only in insignificant numbers along the UAF. (C) 2002 Society of Chemical Industry.