This study reports on anaerobic sludge granulation in a laboratory-scale sulfate-reducing up-flow sludge bed (SRUSB) in a novel sulfate reduction, autotrophic denitrification and nitrification integrated (SANI®) process for treatment of saline sewage. Granulation occurred in 30 d and reached full development in 90 d. The sulfate-reducing granules grew up to around 1 mm after 90 d with 21 mL/g SVI5 (sludge volume index measured after 5 min) and the biomass concentration reached 29 g/L after 4 months' operation. The reactor removed 89% chemical oxygen demand (COD) and reduced 75% sulfate within 1 h of hydraulic retention time, under a COD loading rate of up to 6.4 kg COD/(m3 · d).

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