Anaerobic treatment, especially thermophilic treatment, offers an attractive alternative for the treatment of high-strength, hot wastewater. The thermophilic process, compared to the mesophilic anaerobic process, has the advantages of increased loading rate and the elimination of cooling before treatment. Furthermore, the heat content of the wastewater would be available for post-treatment. Loading rates up to 80 kgCOD/m3/day and more have been reached in laboratory-scale thermophilic reactors treating glucose, acetate, and sucrose and thermomechanical pulping whitewater. Table 18 shows the results of food wastewater treatment by thermophilic UASB at 55°C together with the examples for pulp mill wastewater [31-40]. For alcohol distillery wastewater at the loading rate of 100 kgCOD/m3/day, successful removal efficiencies were reported. Rintala and Lipisto  reported 70°C thermopilic UASB experiment using pulp mill wastewater; however, the COD removal was not high at 56% at the loading rate of 41 kgCOD/m3/day .
Table 19 summarizes successful performances using EGSB in China. Biogas recovered at the rate of 0.4-0.6 m3/day vs. 1 kL of 95% alcohol has been used as supplementary fuel for coal .
Among seven beet sugar processing factories in Hokkaido, Japan, three use UASB. Biogas is generated at the rate of 7000 N m3/day under the condition of 15 kgCOD/m3/day. It is used as fuel for boilers and dryers of beet pulp. Starch processing also generates wastewater of high BOD. Four factories in Japan use UASB reactors and generate biogas of 8000-9000 N m3/day under the condition of 15 kgCOD/m3/day.
Thermophilic anaerobic treatment of hot vegetable processing wastewaters deriving from steam peeling and blanching of carrot, potato, and swede, was studied in laboratory-scale UASB reactors at 55°C . The reactors were inoculated with mesophilic granular sludge. Stable thermophilic methanogenesis with about 60% COD removal was reached within 28 days. During the 134 day study period the loading rate was increased up to 24 kgCOD/m3/day. More than 90% COD removal and methane production of 7.3 m3CH4/day were achieved. The anaerobic process performance was not affected by the changes in the wastewater due to the different processed vegetables. The wastewater characteristics are summarized in Table 20, and the water qualities of influent and effluent in the experiments are shown in Table 21.
Several studies have also attempted to use membrane technology in combination with anaerobic packed bed reactors . Three different methane fermentation processes were evaluated using soybean processing wastewater: (a) Process A—acidification (empty bed volume: 1 m3) and methane reactors (empty bed volume: 2 m3); (b) Process B— acidification and methane reactors followed by membrane (Polysulfone and PVA, MW cutoff, approx. 15,000); and (c) Process C—acidification reactor, membrane, and methane reactors. The characteristics of the wastewater are BOD 1000 mg/L, COD 1629 mg/L, VSS 693 mg/L, protein 544 mg/L, and lipid 23 mg/L.
Process B showed a COD removal of 77.7% by decreasing the free SS in the treated water. Higher acetic acid and propionic acid concentrations were found as residual in the treated water. The rate of methane conversion was 68.9%.
Process C showed a remarkable removal of COD by 92.4% and methane conversion of 83.4%. Process C gave noteworthy improvement in results compared with process A. It has been
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