A sequencing batch wastewater treatment process was studied in a 200 L air-lift reactor (ALR), using a synthetic wastewater. A modification of the SBR process was introduced to exploit the ALR's geometric structure using an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) mode of feeding. The mean COD removal efficiency of the process was extremely high. A study was made of the change in the filtered COD concentration in the reactor as a function of time during a cycle. A partial reduction in the COD was observed after the UASB Fill stage. Further removal of the residual COD was achieved within a very short time once air was supplied to the system. These phenomena required the inclusion of a biosorption-storage concept in the mathematical description of the system, in order to predict more precisely the COD transformations. The mathematical model parameters were evaluated experimentally and then calibrated with the aid of an optimization technique. Experimental results including COD, MLVSS, DO and OUR changes showed good agreement with model predictions.

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