Highly colored and highly polluted pulp and paper industry wastewaters are proposed to be treated by using algae in sequential batch reactors (SBR). Results of batch studies revealed that up to 74% COD; 74% color removal could be attained in about 40 days of incubation. From the preliminary SBR experiments, filling period was found to be a critical step affecting the overall efficiency when mixing and aeration is applied during filling. Therefore, 5 different filling periods (4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 days) were studied with a total SBR cycle of 15 days. For all filling periods; COD, color and AOX removal efficiencies increased with increasing filling time. Maximum removal efficiencies achieved were 60 to 85% for COD, 42 to 75% for color and 82 to 93% for AOX for the filling periods of 4 to 12 days. For 8 days or longer filling periods, no additional reaction time was required. Results showed that, organics in the wastewater were both chlorinated and non-chlorinated; algae removed these mainly by metabolism; and chlorine cleavage from chlorinated organic molecules was more rapid than the degradation of non-chlorinated and colored organics. Adsorbed lignin on algal biomass was found to be varying between 10-20% depending on filling period applied.

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