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Bioresour Technol. 2005 Jan;96(1):87-93.

Anaerobic treatment of wastewater with high suspended solids from a bulk drug industry using fixed film reactor (AFFR).

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Biochemical and Environmental Engineering Centre, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad 500 007, India.


Studies were carried out on the treatment of wastewater from a bulk drug industry using an anaerobic fixed film reactor (AFFR) designed and fabricated in the laboratory. The chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total dissolved solids (TDS) of the wastewater were found to be very high with low biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) to COD ratio and high total suspended solid (TSS) concentration. Acclimatization of seed consortia and startup of the reactor was carried out by directly using the wastewater, which resulted in reducing the period of startup to 30 days. The reactor was studied at different organic loading rates (OLR) and it was found that the optimum OLR was 10 kg COD/m(3)/day. The wastewater under investigation, which had a considerable quantity of SS, was treated anaerobically without any pretreatment. COD and BOD of the reactor outlet wastewater were monitored and at steady state and optimum OLR 60-70% of COD and 80-90% of BOD were removed. The reactor was subjected to organic shock loads at two different OLR and the reaction could withstand the shocks and performance could be restored to normalcy at that OLR. The results obtained indicated that AFFR could be used efficiently for the treatment of wastewater from a bulk drug industry having high COD, TDS and TSS.

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