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TitleDevelopment of the Inverted anaerobic sludge blanket reactor: a novel technology for the treatment of industrial wastewater containing fat
Author(s)Picavet, M. A.
Advisor(s)Alves, M. M.
Issue date16-Apr-2012
Abstract(s)Lipids are ubiquitous in industrial wastewater produced in the food industry, yet practically no biological treatment systems are available on the market that are capable of directly treating wastewater containing lipids. In general, lipids are considered a nuisance and are normally removed prior to biological treatment. Lipids are however compounds with a high calorific value and therefore highly interesting for conversion into biogas under anaerobic conditions. This thesis reports on the development of a high-rate anaerobic reactor capable of directly treating wastewater containing fat. The reactor’s technological basis for includes floatation as main sludge retention technique. Next to that, the specific contact surface between sludge and fat is maximised to prevent mass transfer limitation. Because fat degradation leads again to settlable sludge, a sedimentation step is incorporated in the form of a tilted plate separator (TPS). The settled sludge is then recycled and mixed up with raw wastewater to stimulate fat adsorption and sludge floatation. The sludge/raw wastewater mixture is subsequently injected into downers to induce reactor mixing and the break-up of floating sludge. Finally, to counteract foam formation, treated wastewater is sprayed in the head space. These considerations formed the basis of the Inverted Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (IASB) reactor. The IASB concept was tested using several lab-scale configurations and lead to an optimised 1.2 m3 pilot scale reactor. Its robustness and capacity for treating wastewater strongly fluctuating in quality while maintaining treatment efficiency was demonstrated during a one year pilot trial on slaughterhouse wastewater. Until an organic loading rate of 12 kg COD/m3/day, no problems were encountered in terms of COD removal. The TPS showed to be efficient in retaining solids inside the reactor. The spray flow rate, however, should not go through the TPS. The IASB technology is currently being scaled-up to industrial scale taking the pilot findings into account. A modular approach was chosen as to reduce investment costs associated to the technology. The IASB technological development further resulted in a novel separation technology called Sludge Lift Separator. Separator design was optimised using computational fluid dynamics. The technology is currently being tested at pilot scale.
TypeDoctoral thesis
DescriptionTese de doutoramento em Engenharia Química e Biológica
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:BUM - Teses de Doutoramento
CEB - Teses de Doutoramento / PhD Theses

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