Anaerobic-aerobic sequencing bioreactors improve energy efficiency for treatment of personal care product industry wastes

S. Z. Ahammad, J. L. Bereslawski, J. Dolfing, C. Mota, D. W. Graham*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Personal care product (PCP) industry liquid wastes contain shampoo residues, which are usually treated by aerobic activated sludge (AS). Unfortunately, AS is expensive for PCP wastes because of high aeration and energy demands, whereas potentially energy-positive anaerobic designs cannot meet effluent targets. Therefore, combined anaerobic-aerobic systems may be the best solution. Seven treatment systems were assessed in terms of energy and treatment performance for shampoo wastes, including one aerobic, three anaerobic (HUASB, AHR and AnCSTR) and three anaerobic-aerobic reactor designs. COD removals were highest in the HUASB-aerobic (87.9. ±. 0.4%) and AHR-aerobic (86.8. ±. 0.5%) systems, which used 69.2% and 62.5% less energy than aerobic AS. However, actual methane production rates were low relative to theoretical in the UASB and AHR units (~10% methane/COD removed) compared with the AnCSTR unit (~70%). Anaerobic-aerobic sequence reactors show promise for treating shampoo wastes, but optimal designs depend upon whether methane production or COD removal is most important to operations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-79
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume139
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes

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