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Environ Technol. 2012 Oct-Nov;33(19-21):2273-80.

Cultivation of aerobic granules in a novel configuration of sequencing batch airlift reactor.

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  • 1Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.


Aerobic granules can be formed in sequencing batch airlift reactors (SBAR) and sequencing batch reactors (SBR). Comparing these two systems, the SBAR has excellent mixing condition, but due to a high height-to-diameter ratio (H/D), there is no performance capability at full scale at the present time. This research examined a novel configuration of SBAR at laboratory scale (with a box structure) for industrial wastewater treatment. To evaluate chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency and granule formation of the novel reactor (R1), in comparison a conventional SBAR (R2) was operated under similar conditions during the experimental period. R1 and R2 with working volumes of 3.6 L and 4.5 L, respectively, were used to cultivate aerobic granules. Both reactors were operated for 4 h per cycle. Experiments were done at different organic loading rates (OLRs) ranging from 0.6-4.5 kg COD/m3.d for R1 and from 0.72-5.4 kg COD/m3.d for R2. After 150 days of operation, large-sized black filamentous granules with diameters of 0.5-2 mm and 2-11 mm were formed in R1 and R2, respectively. In the second part of the experiment, the efficiency of removal of a toxic substance by aerobic granules was investigated using aniline as a carbon source with a concentration in the range 1.2-6.6 kg COD/m3.d and 1.44-7.92 kg COD/m3.d in R1 and R2, respectively. It was found that COD removal efficiency of the novel airlift reactor was over 97% and 94.5% using glucose and aniline as carbon sources, respectively. Sludge volume index (SVI) was also decreased to 30 mL/g by granulation in the novel airlift reactor.

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