Alternative materials as support medium of anaerobic filters for the treatment of synthetic sanitary sewage
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ABSTRACT The type of material used as packing in anaerobic filters may be a determinant factor in the treatment efficiency, so the evaluation of new materials is important. Thus, the objective of this study was to study the behavior of three upflow anaerobic filters, filled with charcoal, clay pottery and tire rubber, in the treatment of synthetic wastewater with glucose as substrate. The filter, in bench scale (1.3 L), was operated at a HRT of 8 and 4 hours, in two phases. The performance of the filters, in terms of pH, total alkalinity and bicarbonate and volatile acids was stable during the two operational phases. The best filter in terms of COD removal efficiency was the one with activated carbon, 94 and 81%, in Phases I and II, respectively, followed by tire rubber filter, 88 and 63%. The lowest efficiency obtained was the ceramic clay filter, with 81 and 61%, in Phases I and II, respectively. The main morphologies found were bacilli, cocci, filaments, Methanosaeta sp. and Methanosarcina sp. The differences obtained between filters are related to the different characteristics of each material, and the differences between phases are due to the hydraulic load increase and subsequent cellular retention time decrease, as well as an eventual temperature difference.