The treatment of sewage at a temperature of 13°C was investigated in three reactors (each 3.84 litre) a UASB and two anaerobic hybrid (AH) reactors with small sludge granules with an average diameter of 0.73 mm. The media used in the AH reactors were vertical polyurethane foam sheets. The reactors were operated at a HRT of 8 h. The use of small sludge granules and operating the reactors at low upflow velocity (1.8 m/d) improved suspended COD removal efficiencies for the UASB reactor. Moreover, the use of sheets in the AH reactors significantly increased suspended COD removal efficiencies as compared to the UASB and reached to 87% for pre-settled sewage treatment. The treatment of pre-settled sewage instead of raw sewage in AH reactors significantly increased colloidal and dissolved COD removal efficiencies with 13% and 12% respectively and colloidal COD removal efficiency for the UASB reactor with 13%. At ‘steady state’ for pre-settled sewage treatment, the AH reactors removed 64% of the total COD which is significantly higher by 4% than the UASB reactor. Therefore, the anaerobic treatment of domestic sewage at low temperature can be improved by treating pre-settled sewage in shallow AH reactors containing small sludge granules.

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