This study reports applicability of upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) process to treat the leachate from a municipal landfill located in Delhi. A laboratory scale reactor was operated at an organic loading rate of 3.00 kg chemical oxygen demand (COD)/m3 d corresponding to a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 12 h for over 8 months. The effect of toxicity of leachate, and feed composition on the treatability of leachate was evaluated. Average COD of the leachate, during the study period varied between 8,880 and 66,420 mg/l. Toxicity of the leachate used during a period of 8 months varied from LC50 1.22 to 12.35 for 96 h. The removal efficiency of soluble COD ranged between 91 and 67% for fresh leachate and decreased drastically from 90 to 35% for old leachate having high toxicity. The efficiency varied from 81 to 65%. The reactor performed more efficiently for the treatment of fresh leachate (less toxic, LC50 11.64, 12.35, and 12.15 for 96 h) as compared with old leachate (more toxic, LC50 1.22 for 96 h). Toxicity of the leachate affected its treatment potential by the UASB.

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