The dechlorination of chlorophenol (CP) compounds was investigated using upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors. A total of five trichlorophenols (TCPs) and a single dichlorophenol (DCP) were individually treated: 2,3,4-TCP; 2,3,5-TCP; 2,3,6-TCP; 2,4,5-TCP; 2,4,6-TCP; and 3,5-DCP. Synthetic wastewater composed of sucrose and acetic acid provided an alternate, readily biodegradable carbon source. Each chlorinated compound was concurrently fed to separate reactors. The parameters that were quantified include biogas composition, acetic acid concentration, COD, and VSS. The degree to which CPs were sorbed to the granular biomass in actively dechlorinating UASB reactors was found to be insignificant. CP compounds were able to be metabolized to mineral end products to a large extent at loadings where reactor performance was not impaired. Ortho chlorine atoms were most readily removed from CPs. CPs containing chlorine atoms in the para position were the most toxic agents with 2,4,5-TCP being the most toxic compound. Toxicity was reversible.

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