In this paper, performance of two high rate technologies, upflow anaerobic fixed-film reactor and fluidized bed laboratory-scale, treating distillery wastewater (wine vinasses ) at anaerobic thermophilic conditions have been compared. The results obtained show that the stationary packed bed, with a corrugated plastic support, operated under stable conditions at organic loading rates (OLR0) around 20 kgCOD/m3/d, gives maximal total CODr of 76% at OLR0 of 6.29 kgCOD/m3/d; the fluidized bed reactor, operated on open pore sintered-glass media, gives total CODr of 96% at OLR0 of 5.88 kgCOD/m3/d. The anaerobic fluidized bed technology is more effective than the upflow anaerobic fixed-film technology due, fundamentally, to this technology favouring the transport of microbial cells from the bulk to the surface and enhancing the contact between the microorganism-substrate phases. In this sense, the stationary packed bed technology is adequate for the treatment of easily biodegradable wastewater, or for the cases where elevated percentages of CODr removal are not required, while the fluidized bed technology is especially suitable for treatment of hazardous wastes with recalcitrant compositions.

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