This paper details a dynamic evaluation of a 1 m3 fixed bed anaerobic digestion reactor in response to organic overloads and toxicant shock loads. Raw industrial wine distillery wastewater was used as a reference substrate and several disturbances were applied to the process: (i) organic overloads with and without pH regulation in the feeding line, (ii) adding of ammonia in the input wastewater. The purpose of this study was to assess, using on-line instrumentation, the robustness of a fixed bed anaerobic digester. Anaerobic digestion processes have the reputation of being difficult to operate and prone to process instability due to external disturbances and the objective of this study was to demonstrate the possibility of such a reactor configuration for industrial use.

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