A Novel Anaerobic Reactor: Split Fed Anaerobic Baffled Reactor (SFABR)


Abstract: Excessive substrate feeding during start-up can lead to the accumulation of volatile fatty acids and a concomitant decrease in pH in anaerobic reactors with plug flow characteristics. In addition, plug flow reactors fed with high strength wastewater are more likely to expose sensitive bacteria to toxic levels of inorganic and organic compounds. To overcome these difficulties, substrate feeding pattern to the reactor could be manipulated. Such a configuration, the split fed anaerobic baffled reactor, has been developed in the Environmental Engineering laboratories of Newcastle University. This concept is based on a modified feeding strategy for the anaerobic baffled reactor. By splitting the feed, a number of desirable characteristics can be encouraged, such as low organic loading rate, longer hydraulic retention time, longer cell retention time in the initial compartments and greater availability of food for the micro-organisms in the final compartment of the reactor. In addition, it is envisaged that a greater stability of pH should occur as a result of the lower concentrations of volatile fatty acids arising in the initial reactor compartments. These factors are likely to lower organic stress in the initial compartments.

Keywords: Brewery wastewater, microbial ecology, reactor performance, split fed anaerobic baffled reactor (SFABR), trace analysis.

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