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Granule development in a split-feed anaerobic baffled reactor

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paul Sallis


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Operating anaerobic reactors at high organic loading rates during start-up can lead to instability, accumulation of volatile fatty acids and low pH, such problems being exacerbated in reactors that exhibit plug-flow characteristics. Moreover, plug-flow conditions increase the exposure of biomass to any toxic components in the feed. To overcome these limitations, an anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR), a reactor exhibiting partial plug-flow characteristics, was modified by splitting the feed between the individual compartments to produce the split-feed ABR (SFABR). Consequently, more favourable conditions were created in the initial compartments, such as lower, longer hydraulic retention time and longer cell retention time; conditions in the final compartments were also improved by the increased food availability for microorganisms. Other benefits included better gas mixing characteristics as a result of the more balanced gas production across the reactor. Granule development was compared in SFABR and normally fed ABR by analysing sludge samples, taken during start-up and continuous operation, using scanning electron microscopy. Photomicrographs allowed tentative conclusions to be made concerning the effect of split-feeding on the distribution of bacterial populations within the granule architecture and the role of extracellular polymers on granule formation. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sallis PJ, Uyanik S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Bioresource Technology

Year: 2003

Volume: 89

Issue: 3

Pages: 255-265

Print publication date: 01/09/2003

ISSN (print): 0960-8524

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2976

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/S0960-8524(03)00071-3

PubMed id: 12798116


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