Optimization of innovative biological treatment

Peter Fox, Makram T. Suidan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper presents the experimental and theoretical development of a method for predicting the optimal operating conditions for an innovative biological reactor design. The innovative reactor design consists of an expanded-bed biological reactor with a GAC adsorber inserted into the recycle line. In pilot-scale laboratory experiments, an anaerobic expanded-bed GAC reactor with a GAC adsorber in the recycle line (innovative reactor design) was compared with a single stage anaerobic expanded-bed GAC reactor. The synthetic wastewater used was composed of acetate and 3-ethylphenol (3-ep) at influent replacement of GAC was used in both reactors as a control strategy to maintain the 3-ethylphenol concentration below inhibitory levels. GAC was replaced from only the GAC adsorber of the innovative reactor design, while GAC was replaced directly from the single-stage GAC reactor. Superior steady-state performance of the innovative reactor design was attributed to long sludge ages and excellent operational control which optimized biodegradation of the inhibitory/refractory compound, 3-ep. Batch tests to characterize the biodegradation of both acetate and 3-ep and adsorption isotherm studies with 3-ep and GAC were done during most steady-states. These tests independently characterized the removal mechanisms within the reactors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Engineering
EditorsPeter A. Krenkel
PublisherPubl by ASCE
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)0872628108
StatePublished - 1991
EventProceedings of the 1991 Specialty Conference on Environmental Engineering - Reno, NV, USA
Duration: Jul 8 1991Jul 10 1991

Publication series

NameEnvironmental Engineering


OtherProceedings of the 1991 Specialty Conference on Environmental Engineering
CityReno, NV, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering


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