From November 1985 to May 1988, experiments with anaerobic treatment of wastewater from a fish cannery were carried out at the Water Quality Institute (WQI) at Aarhus, Denmark. An anaerobic fixed filter (AF) reactor and an anaerobic fluidized bed (AFB) reactor were used for the pilot-scale experiments. The reactors were monitored and controlled by a microcomputer.

The aim of the experiments was to determine the biogas yield from COD reduction and to show the efficiency of the reactor as a function of the following operation parameters: Volumetric organic load, 3–15 kg COD/(m3·day); temperature, 30–35°C, pH (control of); salinity, 1–4%.

Operational data are presented, including start-up after stand-by periods of varying lengths, from one day to three months. Both reactors showed excellent capability of handling load variations and were capable of quick start-up and high efficiency even after long stand-by periods.

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