A laboratory-scale study has demonstrated the technical feasibility of using a sequencing batch reactor to treat the wastewater from the manufacture of shampoo and other personal care products. The results demonstrate that good treatment (90% removal efficiency for organic substrate as measured by TOD) is possible at an organic loading below 0.70 kg TOD/kgVSS/day. Higher ratios provide some treatment but there may some risk of washing out the biomass when the organic loading exceeds 1.4 kg TOD/kg VSS/day. The effluent produced was suitable for discharge to a municipal sewage system or to a polishing pond but not for direct discharge to receiving waters.
The treatment was totally adequate when nutrients were kept in the ratio B0D5/N/P of 100/5/1. Results were obtained for a ratio of 100/2.5/0.5 and the system did not adequately remove organic material. The response to an inadequate supply of nutrients was very rapid and the production of biomass was severely affected. The effect of various ways of filling the reactor were investigated but no significant effect was found. Lower temperatures reduced the efficiency of the system.