Biofilm (or attached growth) reactors can be effectively used to treat organic wastewater from various industries such as food processing industry. They have a number of advantages including high organic loading rates (OLRs) and improved operational stability. A flexible fibre biofim reactor (FFBR) has been developed for efficient and cost effective treatment of food processing wastewater. In the process, simple flexible fibre packing with a very high specific surface area is used as support for microorganisms. The COD removal efficiencies for a range of OLRs have been studied. The FFBR can support an increasingly high OLR, but with a corresponding decrease in the COD removal efficiency. Therefore, a two-stage FFBR was developed to increase the treatment efficiency for systems with high OLRs. Experimental results indicated that a high overall COD removal efficiency could be achieved. At an influent COD of about 2700 mg/L and an OLR of 7.7 kgCOD/m3d, COD removal efficiencies of 76% and 82% were achieved in the first and the second stage of the reactor, respectively. The overall COD removal efficiency was 96%. Therefore, even for wastewater samples with high organic strength, high quality treated effluents could be readily achieved by the use of multiple stage FFBRs.

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