Abstract

Up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) has been in use since last few decades for the treatment of organic wastewaters. However, the performance of UASB reactor is quite low for treatment of low strength wastewaters (LSWs) due to less biogas production leading to poor mixing. In the present research work, a modification was done in the design of UASB to improve mixing of reactor liquid which is important to enhance the reactor performance. The modified UASB (MUASB) reactor was designed by providing a slanted baffle along the height of the reactor having an angle of 5.7° with the vertical wall. A two-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of three phase gas-liquid-solid flow in MUASB reactor was performed and compared with conventional UASB reactor. The CFD study indicated better mixing in terms of vorticity magnitude in MUASB reactor as compared to conventional UASB, which was reflected in the reactor performance. The performance of MUASB was compared with conventional UASB reactor for the onsite treatment of domestic sewage as LSW. Around 16% higher total chemical oxygen demand removal efficiency was observed in MUASB reactor as compared to conventional UASB during this study. Therefore, this MUASB model demonstrates a qualitative relationship between mixing and performance during the treatment of LSW. From the study, it seems that MUASB holds promise for field applications.

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