Anaerobic treatment of a biologically inhibitory wastewater

P. Fox, M. T. Suidan, J. T. Pfeffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A sequence of unit processes consisting of a berl-saddle-packed-bed anaerobic reactor and an expanded-bed, granular activated carbon fluidized-bed anaerobic reactor was used for the treatment of a synthetically prepared coal conversion wastewater. The wastewater, with high concentrations of inhibitory compounds, was fed at three different chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentrations: 1513, 3027, and 7567 mg/L. Excellent removal of organic matter combined with high conversion of COD to methane was achieved. Negligible removal of COD was observed in the packed-bed reactor whereas the expanded-bed GAC reactor removed the majority of the organics in the wastewater. Ortho- and meta-cresol resisted biodegradation and their toxicity to the anaerobic culture in the GAC reactor was overcome by partial replacement of the granular activated carbon medium in that reactor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-92
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Water Pollution Control Federation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution


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