Research is focused on an integrated way to simultaneously optimize the bleaching operations and subsequent wastewater treatment for pulp and paper mills. Bleach wastewaters from ClO2-bleached pulping studies at Institute of Paper Science and Technology (IPST) were used as the feed for batch reactors to test and rank the treatability and kinetics. The key aspect of the system is the use of sequential anaerobic/aerobic phases to enhance reductive dehalogenation of chloro-organic materials. Two continuous reactor systems, one operated in an anaerobic-aerobic mode and a second in an aerobic-aerobic mode, received bleaching wastewater obtained from a full-scale plant. Acclimated cultures from both continuous reactors were used to quantify the AOX (Adsorbable Organic Halide) and COD removal from various bleaching wastewaters. In general, the sequential anaerobic/aerobic treatment of bleach wastewater can improve both biotreatability and degradation rates.

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