A review of the theoretical basis for the design and operation of fluidized bed reactors for anaerobic treatment of wastewaters is presented. After the description of the characteristics of three-phase fluidized bed and theoretical aspects which could affect the operation of an anaerobic reactor, the design considerations and recommendations based upon characteristics of the wastewater to be treated are presented. A step by step design strategy, including media selection, operative conditions of the reactor, equipment sizing and long-term run effects, as well as mechanical design hints on distribution system, reactor body, piping of recycle lines and gas collection are included.

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