To test the feasibility of anaerobic treatment of an effluent from a chemical factory producing intermediates for synthetic fibres, test work with a 45 l UASB pilot plant was conducted. Following its successful operation, a full-scale anaerobic effluent treatment plant including a 400 m3 combined pre-acidification tank and a 990 m3 Biopaq®-UASB reactor was constructed. The results of the pilot plant and the full-scale anaerobic treatment plant have been compared, similarities and differences in performance are presented and evaluated. COD removal efficiencies above 80% and BOD efficiencies in excess of 85% achieved in the pilot trial were confirmed by the full-scale installation. Overall process design as well as operational data from the pilot trial and the full-scale plant is presented. Despite the differences in configuration, operational results of the full-scale plant are comparable to the results obtained from the pilot plant study making such a pilot plant a useful tool for the process design of an full-scale anaerobic effluent treatment plant.

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