The results of three years' starting-up period of the phased-recycled flocs system (contact process) treating citric acid factory wastewater are presented in the light of the process characterization approach. After the description of the system and starting-up studies, the reasons of and remedies for the problems of starting-up are discussed with emphasis laid on the biochemistry and microbiology, design and operation parameters,and environmental factors of the anaerobic process.

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