How does Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment work?
Anaerobic Treatment Process
Anaerobic treatment is a biological treatment process in which microbes convert the organic matter in the absence of oxygen. The anaerobic bacteria digest the biodegradable matter present in the wastewater.
How does it work?
Anaerobic wastewater treatment is a wastewater treatment process wherein bacteria are used to break down organic matter. These systems usually include a chamber in which an oxygen-free environment is maintained. The resulting effluent has reduced chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand (BOD), and total suspended solids from the wastewater. Anaerobic treatment is used before aerobic treatment so the high concentration of organic material is removed effectively.
The organic matter is converted to biogas, i.e. methane and carbon dioxide. As the bacteria work on the wastewater, biogas is generated which can be used to generate electricity in some situations. The sludge is sometimes used as a compost and fertiliser in the agricultural industry. In general, both aerobic and anaerobic treatment methods are used together for the effective removal of contaminants.
It is used to treat wastewater from different industries like:
- Food and beverage
- Pulp and paper
- Municipal wastewater
Types of Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment Systems
Some of types of anaerobic systems include:
- Anaerobic Lagoons
- Anaerobic filter reactors
- Anaerobic sludge blanket reactors
Difference between Aerobic and Anaerobic Treatment
Both methods use bacteria to treat wastewater.
In aerobic systems, oxygen is used whereas anaerobic systems do not require oxygen. Different types of bacteria are utilised in each system.
Advantages of Anaerobic Treatment System
- Biogas is produced during the process which can be used as a source of renewable energy
- Requires less energy compared to the aerobic treatment process
- Less amount of sludge is produced so the cost of sludge disposal is significantly reduced
- Low amount of chemicals are required to treat the waste
- It can handle a high volumetric load of chemical oxygen demand (COD)
- It can reactivate immediately after the substrate is added even after a long shut down period
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