Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paul Sallis
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Operating anaerobic reactors at high organic loading rates during start-up can lead to instability, accumulation of volatile fatty acids and low pH, such problems being exacerbated in reactors that exhibit plug-flow characteristics. Moreover, plug-flow conditions increase the exposure of biomass to any toxic components in the feed. To overcome these limitations, an anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR), a reactor exhibiting partial plug-flow characteristics, was modified by splitting the feed between the individual compartments to produce the split-feed ABR (SFABR). Consequently, more favourable conditions were created in the initial compartments, such as lower, longer hydraulic retention time and longer cell retention time; conditions in the final compartments were also improved by the increased food availability for microorganisms. Other benefits included better gas mixing characteristics as a result of the more balanced gas production across the reactor. Granule development was compared in SFABR and normally fed ABR by analysing sludge samples, taken during start-up and continuous operation, using scanning electron microscopy. Photomicrographs allowed tentative conclusions to be made concerning the effect of split-feeding on the distribution of bacterial populations within the granule architecture and the role of extracellular polymers on granule formation. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Author(s): Sallis PJ, Uyanik S
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Bioresource Technology
Print publication date: 01/09/2003
ISSN (print): 0960-8524
ISSN (electronic): 1873-2976
Publisher: Elsevier BV
PubMed id: 12798116
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