Date of Award

Spring 1998

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Zitomer, Daniel H.

Second Advisor

Zanoni, Alphonse E.

Third Advisor

Novotny, Vladimir


Many industrial wastewaters contain a high concentration of organics (chemical oxygen demand or "COD") and sulfate concentrations which are too high to be treated by conventional biological anaerobic treatment methods. Additionally, anaerobic biological processes may be subject to inhibition under some conditions by constituents or products of a high-sulfate waste stream. There is a need for biological wastewater treatment processes which can treat high COD and high sulfate levels and achieve effluent discharge requirements. Recent research has examined expanded bed biological treatment of industrial wastewaters. Expanded bed treatment has been shown as a highly effective anaerobic treatment technology allowing for removal of high COD levels in a small reactor volume. Other research has shown the ability of traditionally anaerobic (devoid of oxygen) biological cultures to exist and perform in the presence of low amounts of oxygen (microaerobic). Lastly, methanogenic treatment of high sulfate wastewaters has been shown to be successful in systems which utilize some form of aeration. The research performed involved a study of expanded bed reactors. Laboratory techniques and analytical skills were utilized to perform a mass balance of COD and sulfur constituents in EBR biological treatment systems. The collected data were analyzed and organized to determine the significance of findings.



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