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Water Science & Technology Vol 47 No 11 pp 189–194 © IWA Publishing 2003

Development of a two-stage flexible fibre biofilm reactor for treatment of food processing wastewater

Q.J. Yu*, H. Xu**, D. Yao*** and P. Williams****

*School of Environmental Engineering, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Brisbane, Queensland 4111, Australia (E-mail: Jimmy.Yu@mailbox.gu.edu.au)
**School of Environmental Engineering, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Brisbane, Queensland 4111, Australia
***School of Environmental Engineering, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Brisbane, Queensland 4111, Australia
****School of Environmental Engineering, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Brisbane, Queensland 4111, Australia


ABSTRACT
Biofilm (or attached growth) reactors can be effectively used to treat organic wastewater from various industries such as food processing industry. They have a number of advantages including high organic loading rates (OLRs) and improved operational stability. A flexible fibre biofim reactor (FFBR) has been developed for efficient and cost effective treatment of food processing wastewater. In the process, simple flexible fibre packing with a very high specific surface area is used as support for microorganisms. The COD removal efficiencies for a range of OLRs have been studied. The FFBR can support an increasingly high OLR, but with a corresponding decrease in the COD removal efficiency. Therefore, a two-stage FFBR was developed to increase the treatment efficiency for systems with high OLRs. Experimental results indicated that a high overall COD removal efficiency could be achieved. At an influent COD of about 2700 mg/L and an OLR of 7.7 kgCOD/m3d, COD removal efficiencies of 76% and 82% were achieved in the first and the second stage of the reactor, respectively. The overall COD removal efficiency was 96%. Therefore, even for wastewater samples with high organic strength, high quality treated effluents could be readily achieved by the use of multiple stage FFBRs.

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