The “temperature-phased anaerobic biofilter” or TPAB process (U.S. Patent pending), is a new high-rate anaerobic treatment system that includes a thermophilic (56°C) biofilter connected in series with a mesophilic (35°C) biofilter providing for two-temperature, two-phase treatment.
Three TPAB systems of different thermophilic:mesophilic reactor size ratios were operated at system HRTs of 24 hrs, 36 hrs, and 48 hrs to characterize performance and to determine if an optimum size ratio exists between the thermophilic and mesophilic phases. The three TPAB systems achieved SCOD reductions in excess of 97% and TCOD reductions in excess of 90% for a synthetic milk substrate over a range of system COD loadings from 2 g COD/L/day to 16 g COD/L/day. There was little difference in performance between the three TPAB systems based on COD reduction and methane production. The 1:7 ratio of thermophilic:mesophilic phase TPAB system performed as well as the 1:3 and 1:1 size ratio TPAB systems. In applications of the process, a relatively small thermophilic first-phase can be used without sacrificing overall two-phase system performance.
The TPAB process is a promising new anaerobic treatment technology with the ability to achieve higher efficiencies of organic removals than is generally possible for single-stage anaerobic filter systems operated at equivalent HRTs and organic loadings.