COD removal performance in an anaerobic fixed bed reactor(AAFBR), which treats soluble organic matter, was investigated theoretically by using a simplified biofilm model. The COD removal rate was assumed to be controlled by the decomposition rates of volatile fatty acids such as acetate, propionate and butyrate. The simplified biofilm model took into consideration the effects of intrabiofilm and interbiofilm substrate diffusion rates on substrate biodegradation rates. The COD removal rates in AAFBR were evaluated for various operating conditions by using known kinetic parameters. The calculated results show that the COD removal rates are not affected by adhered biomass provided that the bio-mass is more than about 4 mg-C/cm2, and vary with temperature, bulk liquid substrate concentrations and the bulk liquid flow rates which are in the range 0.01 ~ 1 m/hr. Relations between allowable COD loading rates and packing diameters were shown schematically for different bulk liquid flow rates.

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