The key to successful application of anaerobic treatment is to un-couple the hydraulic retention time (of wastewater) and the solids retention time (of active biomass) in the reactor system. In order to achieve high system loading rates, short hydraulic retention times should be applied, whilst at the same time maintaining positive net solids (biomass) retention. Thus, various reactor designs were developed over the past two decades that are based on various ways of retaining biomass within the reactor system. Table 3.1 shows the number of plants categorized for different anaerobic processes.
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