Environmental Studies

Anaerobic reactors by Chernicharo, Carlos Augusto de Lemos

By Chernicharo, Carlos Augusto de Lemos

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For the same amount of organic material present in the waste, the sulfate reduction decreases the amount of methane produced. 17). 17) It is noted that 1 mole of SO4 2− requires two moles of oxygen for its reduction to sulfide. 0 COD ratio). 1 Preliminaries A natural habitat does not imply an environment unaffected by human activities, but an environment where the species that make up the microbial population are those selected by interaction with the environment and among themselves. Nutritional and physical conditions enable the selection of the organisms better adapted to the environment, which may vary quickly and frequently due to changes in the supply of nutrients or in the physical conditions.

In this respect, several methods have been proposed to evaluate the anaerobic microbial activity, considering the assessment of the specific methanogenic activity (SMA). However, the precision of several methodologies was considered doubtful or too sophisticated for reproduction in laboratories. Another problem identified refers to the difficulty, or even impossibility, in obtaining anaerobic sludge in sufficient amounts, from reactors in laboratory scale, for the development of conventional tests.

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. 5 to 8). The distribution diagram shows that, for a pH value equal to 7, around 50% of the sulfide will be present in the most toxic, non-dissociated form (H2 S) and the other 50% in the less toxic, dissociated form (HS− ).

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