In this investigation, the performance of Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) reactors treating municipal wastewater was evaluated on the basis of: (i) COD removal efficiency, (ii) effluent variability, and (iii) pH stability. The experiments were performed using 8 pilot-scale UASB reactors (120 L) from which some of them were operated with different influent COD (CODInf ranging from 92 to 816 mg/L) and some at different hydraulic retention time (HRT ranging from 1 to 6 h). The results show that decreasing the CODInf, or lowering the HRT, leads to decreased efficiencies and increased effluent variability. During this experiment, the reactors could treat efficiently sewage with concentration as low as 200 mg COD/L. They could also be operated satisfactorily at an HRT as low as 2 hours, without problems of operational stability. The maximum COD removal efficiency can be achieved at CODInf exceeding 300 mg/L and HRT of 6 h.

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