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Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering

versão impressa ISSN 0104-6632


SILVA, A. J. et al. Kinetic modeling and microbial assessment by fluorescent in situ hybridization in anaerobic sequencing batch biofilm reactors treating sulfate-rich wastewater. Braz. J. Chem. Eng. [online]. 2011, vol.28, n.2, pp.209-219. ISSN 0104-6632.

This paper reports the results of applying anaerobic sequencing batch biofilm reactors (AnSBBR) for treating sulfate-rich wastewater. The reactor was filled with polyurethane foam matrices or with eucalyptus charcoal, used as the support for biomass attachment. Synthetic wastewater was prepared with two ratios between chemical oxygen demand (COD) and sulfate concentration (COD/SO42-) of 0.4 and 3.2. For a COD/SO42- ratio of 3.2, the AnSBBR performance was influenced by the support material used; the average levels of organic matter removal were 67% and 81% in the reactors filled with polyurethane foam and charcoal, respectively, and both support materials were associated with similar levels of sulfate reduction (above 90%). In both reactors, sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) represented more than 65% of the bacterial community. The kinetic model indicated equilibrium between complete- and incomplete-oxidizing SRB in the reactor filled with polyurethane foam and predominantly incomplete-oxidizing SRB in the reactor filled with charcoal. Methanogenic activity seems to have been the determining factor to explain the better performance of the reactor filled with charcoal to remove organic matter at a COD/SO42- ratio of 3.2. For a COD/SO42- ratio of 0.4, low values of sulfate reduction (around 32%) and low reaction rates were observed as a result of the small SRB population (about 20% of the bacterial community). Although the support material did not affect overall performance for this condition, different degradation pathways were observed; incomplete oxidation of organic matter by SRB was the main kinetic pathway and methanogenesis was negligible in both reactors.

Palavras-chave : Anaerobic process; AnSBBR; Biofilm; FISH; Sulfate reduction; Support material.

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