The study was conducted over 265 days to study the feasibility of removing starch particulates from wastewater using an 8.5 L reactor which was a hybrid between the upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) and the anaerobic filter reactors. At pH 7.2-7.5 and 37°C, the reactor was effective for the removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD) from wastewater containing starch particulates equivalent to 5000 mglL of COD with 12 hours of retention time, corresponding to a loading rate of 10 g-COD/L.d. Despite their insoluble nature, the starch particulates did not cause noticeable adverse effeels on the granulation of biomass, probably due to its easy-to-biodegrade nature and the cautious startup strategy. About 5.8% of COD in wastewater remained in the effluent, 82.5% was converted to methane, and the remaining 11.7% was converted to granular biomass with an average sludge yield of 0.09 g-VSS/g-COD. The granules exhibited a layered microstructure. The methanogenic activity of the granular biomass was 0.86 g-methane-COD/g-VSS.d in the reactor, which was considerably lower than the 1.96 g-methane-COD/ g-VSS.d measured in serum vials with an abundant supply of substrate, suggesting that further increase of loading rates was possible for the hybrid reactor.

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