Several disturbances presented in full-scale digesters can potentially affect the efficiency of the microaerobic removal process. This study evaluates the variation of the sulfur load and the performance of the system in situations of oxygen lack or excess and after normal rates are recovered. The process was shown to recover from oxygen lack or excess within 28 h when the original conditions were restored in a pilot-plant digester of 200 L treating sewage sludge with HRT of 20 days. The decrease of the sulfur load to the digester did not affect the biogas composition in the short-term and when oxygen rate was reduced to adjust to the lower hydrogen sulfide production, the removal proceeded normally with a lower unemployed oxygen amount. The digester opening to remove accumulated sulfur in the headspace did not alter process performance once the microaerobic removal was restarted.

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