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ANAEROBICWASTEWATERTREATMENTMICROBIOLOGY

ANAEROBICWASTEWATERTREATMENTMICROBIOLOGY

AnaerobicWastewaterTreatmentMicrobiology
A.AnaerobictreatmentoforganicmaBerAnaerobicdigesEon
1.IntheabsenceofO2,organicmaBerisfermentedtocarbondioxideand
methane: 2CH2O>CH4+CO2
2.Morethan75%oftreatmentplantsintheUSuseanaerobicdigesEonto
reducethesludgeyields,alsoenergyproduced.Sludge[thoughlessofit]issEll
produced.SomefaciliEesburnthesludge(costly),whileotherhaulitaway,e.g.
landllcover,oshoredumpsite,landapplicaEonof'biosolids'.
3.Alsouseddirectlyfortreatmentofmunicipalwastewater,mostlyin
Europe,andforagriculture/farmwastes.InaddiEon,inEurope,usedforhigh
organicindustrialwastes(e.g.canning/foodwastes).
4.GeneraEngenergyfromrefuse,20yrsagoenergycrisisfromfast
growingplants,e.g.kelp;againbeingconsideredbyUSDA,DOE.
5.Municipalsolidwasteis6070%organicorcarbonbased.Ifalltherefuse
intheUSwereputintomethanedigesters1115%oftheenEreUSenergy
consumpEoncouldbesaEsed.

B.Anumberofanaerobicprocessdesignsaredescribedintheliterature.VariaEonsare
designedtolargelytoimprovetheoperaEonoftheprocess.
1.ConvenEonalowthroughprocess

=c=6to30days
2.Anaerobiccontactprocess

=0.5severaldays

=1/D=V/F
=hydraulicdetenEonEme
c=celldetenEonEme

3.Anaerobiclter

=fewhours,c=~100days
4.Upowanaerobicsludgeblanket(UASB)

Anaerobicuidizedbed(lowstrengthwastewater)

Allofthesecanseparatethehydraulicreten.on.mefromthecellreten.on
.me.Thisismoreimportantwhentheprocessisbeingusedforwastetreatmentrather
thanwhenitisusedforsolidsorsludgereducEon.

1.ConvenEonalowthroughprocess

=c=6to30days

orACTIVATEDSLUDGE

2.Anaerobiccontactprocess

=0.5severaldays

3.Anaerobiclter
=fewhours,c=~100days

simplest

verystable

relaEvelyloweciency

ofCODremoval

clogging,channeling

Allthesetreatment
designsseparate
fromc

4.Upowanaerobicsludgeblanket(UASB)
Anaerobicuidizedbed(lowstrengthwastewater)

5. Thinlmbioreactor
(preferredfor
biolmonsand
industrialwastes)
goodcontact
withwaste
noclogging
hibiomass
short
highenergy
req.

C.Disadvantagesoftheanaerobicprocessalmostallarerelatedtotheslowgrowth
rateofanaerobicdigestercommuniEes,
e.g.Ksforaerobictreatmentsystems=1to20mg/L

Ksforanaerobictreatmentsystems=200400mg/L

1. LongdetenEonEme,1430daystherefore,needalargerreactorcostfactor.
2. Longstartupperiod,uptoseveralmonths
3. HighsensiEvitytovaryingwasteloads,toxicinputs,adjustsveryslowly
4. Hence,upsetsrequireverylongEmeforrecovery.
5. ProcessisverysensiEvetopH,cannotdropbelow6.2
6. OpEmumat8595F,mayneedheaEng.

D. Advantagesoftheanaerobicprocess(gotonextslide)
1.Loweryieldofbiologicalsolids(sludgeyield),e.g.Y=dx/dS

ae=equiv.cellsformed/equiv.edonorconsumed

aerobic
anaerobic

___

glucose

0.79

0.27

acetate

0.58

0.06

domesEcwaste 0.5

0.1

e.g.withoutoxygen,lessenergyavailable,lesscellssynthesized,butitalsomeansless
sludgetodisposeof.
Whatisadisadvantageforthecellisanadvantageforthedesignedprocess.

MICROBIALLY MEDIATED OXIDATION-REDUCTION REACTIONS


Electron donor reactions
glucose

C6H12O6 }

benzene C6H6

toluene

C 7H 8

xylenes

C8H10

CO2 + H2O (+ cells)

2.Higherdegreeof'wastestabilizaEon',e.g.highermineralizaEon,e.g.higherCOD,BOD
removal,e.g.highertransformaEonfromtheorganictotheinorganic.

C10H19O3N+4.7H2O>0.145C5H7O2N+5.75CH4+2.48CO2

+0.81NH4++0.81HCO3
Compareto

C10H19O3N+9O2>C5H7O2N+5CO2+H2O
e.g.MostofthecarbonhasbeentransformedtoCO2andCH4,veryliBleremainsin

theorganicform.

Overallwithanaerobicprocesses8090%ofthewasteisconvertedtogasor

inorganicformandis'stabilized'.

IntheaboveequaEon,morethan90%isconvertedcomparedto50%inaerobic

process.
3.lowerN&Prequirementsincelowercellyield
4.Nooxygenrequirement,therefore,noneedtoaerate,notlimitedbyoxygen

transfer,importantreducEonincost.

Note:mixinginanaerobicunitistokeepcellsmixed,whilemixingin

aerobicunitsismuchmorevigorousinordertodeliveroxygen.
5.ProducEonofausefulproduct,fuelmethane,usedtoheatandrundigester.

ConceptualModel

(rstdescribedbyPerryMcCarty)
CO2,H2

1.
2.
3.
4.

facultaEvemicrobes
nowastestabilizaEon
relaEvelyrapidprocess
codependency

1.
2.
3.
4.

anaerobes
relaEvelyslowprocess
ratelimiEngpartofprocess
codependency

Thisisaconceptualmodel,andnotanactual2stepprocess.

HCOOCH3OH

CH3NH2

CH3COO-

Tracingthesourceofmethaneinananaerobicdigester

CO2,H2
formate

methanol,formate
methylamine,CO2,H2

DescripEonofoverallprocessofanoxicdecomposiEon
Firstdescribedinanaerobicdigesters30
yrsearlierbyanenvironmentalengineer
Thisisthesameconceptualmodel
Methanogensonlyuseacetate&single
Ccompounds
AcetateisoneofthemostimportantC
sourcesinanoxichabitats
Methanecannotcomefrompropionate
Methanecanaccountfor3080%ofC
xedthroughprimaryproducEvityin
freshwaterenvironments

4.Methanebacteria
alotwasknownaboutthembeforetheywereseparatedintotheirowndomain

a)verysensiEvetoO2,oxredpotenEal<300mV

b)sensiEvetopH,opEmum=6.67.6.Below6.2digesterwilldie.

Hence,organicacidscannotgettoohigh.

c)slowgrowth

d)limitednumberofspeciesandtheirlimitednumberofsubstrates
5.Sourceofmethane

a)methylgroupcleavage

*CH3COOH>*CH4+CO2

acetate

4CH3OH>3CH4+CO2+2H2O
b)CO2reducEon

4H2+CO2>2H2O+CH4

c)frompropionate?

CH3CH2COOH+4H2O>2HCOOH+CO2+5H2

propionate

formate

d)fromformate

HCOOH+3H2>CH4+2H2O

e) MethanobacteriumomelianskiiillustratesclosesyntrophicrelaEonship
interspecieshydrogentransfer

2CH2H5OH+CO2>2CH3COOH+CH4

Actually2reacEonsmediatedby2dierentorganisms

2CH2H5OH+2H2O>2CH3COOH+4H2

4H2+CO2>2H2O+CH4

6.Morediculttooperate
Processismuchlessforgivingthanaerobicprocess
1.Unbalancecausedbysuddenchangesintemp.,organicloading,wastecharacter.
2.Noneofthesethingsaregoodforanybiologicalprocess,butanaerobicsystemsis

muchlessforgivingandmoresensiEvetochangebecause

a)ifonegroupisknockedout,amajorproporEonoftheorganismsareaected

and

b)theirslowgrowthratesmeanthatitismoredicultandslowertorecover.
3.The3parameterstomonitorare

a)volaEleacidsbuildupformate,acetate,propionate,butyrate,etc

b)pHdecrease

c)hydrogenlevels