Anaerobic reactors by Chernicharo, Carlos Augusto de Lemos

By Chernicharo, Carlos Augusto de Lemos

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The external effects of temperature on bacterial cells are also important. For example, the degree of dissociation of several compounds depends strongly on the temperature, such as the specific case of ammonia. The thermodynamics of several reactions is also affected by temperature, such as the dependence of the hydrogen pressure in anaerobic digesters where fermentation occurs in an appropriate manner. The importance of the quantitative data on the effects of the temperature on the microbial population is that a considerable reduction may be achieved in the reactor volume, if it is operated close to the ideal temperature, once the maximum specific growth rate of the microbial population rises as the temperature increases.

Studies have shown that concentrations of free ammonia above 150 mg/L are toxic to the methanogenic microorganisms, while the maximum safety limit for the ammonium ion is approximately 3,000 mg/L. 5. (c) Toxicity by sulfide Toxicity by sulfide is a potential problem in anaerobic treatment, firstly due to the biological reduction of sulfates and organic sulfur-containing compounds, and also for the anaerobic degradation of protein-rich compounds. 5. 7. Distribution diagram for H2 S (T = 25 ◦ C) developed for a temperature of 25 ◦ C.

In this case, the theoretical production should be calculated separately for each of the three compounds present in the wastewater, in terms of their concentrations and individual loads removed (not in terms of COD). 16). 2), in view of a competition for substrate established between the sulfate-reducing bacteria and the fermentative, acetogenic and methanogenic microorganisms. Hence, two final products are formed: methane (by methanogenesis) and sulfide (by sulfate reduction). The magnitude of this competition is related to several aspects, particularly the pH and the COD/SO4 2− ratio in the wastewater.

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