High rate anaerobic treatment for industrial wastewater was first applied on a commercial scale in the sugar industry in the mid 70's. Since that time the technology has developed into a standard method of wastewater treatment for a wide variety of industries. The technology is now functional in over 65 countries and a total of approximately 1,400 plants were build by the 16 leading vendors of such systems. These plants account for approximately 65% of the total number of anaerobic treatment plants for industrial applications, which is estimated to be ca. 2,000. From the analysis from a database consisting of 1,215 plants it appears that the UASB technology as originally developed in the Netherlands is the most predominant process. It is also seen that the higher loaded EGSB type systems are gradually replacing at least some of the UASB applications.

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