The important Brazilian agro-industry produces significant amounts of wastewater with high concentrations of biodegradable compounds. A lot can be gained if wastewater treatment would take place using anaerobic reactors instead of the anaerobic lagoons generally used now. Apart from preventing methane emissions to the atmosphere this would permit the use of the biogas as a source of energy. To facilitate implementation of this technology also in small and intermediate sized companies a system requiring only minimal maintenance is needed. The need for maintenance by skilled labour can be reduced using an automated process control system, which is being developed. Cassava (manioc, tapioca) processing wastewater has been treated in a lab scale UASB reactor equipped with an on-line monitoring system, to test a control strategy based mainly on pH control. Good results have been obtained treating not only pre-acidified but also treating raw (diluted) cassava processing wastewater.

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