The goal of this study is to find the operational conditions for establishing a dynamic balance between the microbial growth and loss in the anaerobic fluidized bed process. Such operation is very attractive because there is no necessity of complicated bed and biofilm control or costly excess sludge treatment and disposal. Several factors which control the dynamic balance were identified and experimentally determined using laboratory scale anaerobic fluidized beds. Based upon the knowledge accumulated through the laboratory experiments, a pilot scale anaerobic fluidized bed (1.0 m ID × 6.85 m H) was installed at a soft-drink bottling plant and successfully operated for nine months. The stable microbial mass along with low effluent organic concentration demonstrated the feasibility of the anaerobic fluidized bed treatment with a steady-state biofilm.

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