This work compares continuous vs intermittent UASB reactors inoculated with flocculent sludge for the treatment of dairy effluents. The effects of effluent recirculation on the performance of intermittent reactors were assessed as well as the differences in specific methanogenic activity (SMA) with different substrates for the biomass from continuous and intermittent UASB reactors. Compared to the continuous operation the intermittent operation resulted in higher methanization of the removed COD (64–78% and 65–88%, respectively) whilst the effluent recirculation presented beneficial effects when applied during the stabilization period and was clearly detrimental when applied during the feed period of the intermittent operation. The SMA tests showed that the intermittent operation causes a shift in the microbial populations towards a better adaptation for the degradation of complex substrates confirmed by the meaningfull contribution of methane production through a pathway other than acetoclastic methanogenesis observed in the biomass taken from intermittent UASB reactors.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.