The anoxic biodegradation of organic carbon in industrial wastewaters was studied on pilot plants with attached bacteria. The process involved submerged granular filters with expanded glass balls as packing material. The two wastewaters which were investigated came from a wine-produce industry and a chemical industry.

The nitrate requirements were studied on a semi-batch pilot plant. The nitrate consumption was found to be about 0.7 - 0.9 g N-NO3·g−1TOC for the organic carbon removal from the wine-produce industry wastewater.

The influence of the volumetric load, Cv, on the Total Organic Carbon (TOC) removal was studied on a continuous-flow pilot plant. High removal yields of 90 % and more were obtained with volumetric loads up to 2 kg TOC.m−3.d−1 with the wine-produce industry wastewater. However 80 % TOC removal was obtained for a maximum volumetric load of 0.2 kg TOC.m−3.d−1 with the chemical industry wastewater. The difference between the two wastewaters might be due to the different degradation kinetics and/or biodegradability of their organic compounds. Nitrite concentrations were negligible throughout the study.

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