Microbial Ecology

, Volume 67, Issue 2, pp 358–368 | Cite as

Kinetic Modelling and Characterization of Microbial Community Present in a Full-Scale UASB Reactor Treating Brewery Effluent

  • Abimbola M. EnitanEmail author
  • Sheena KumariEmail author
  • Feroz M. Swalaha
  • J. Adeyemo
  • Nishani Ramdhani
  • Faizal Bux
Environmental Microbiology


The performance of a full-scale upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor treating brewery wastewater was investigated by microbial analysis and kinetic modelling. The microbial community present in the granular sludge was detected using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and further confirmed using polymerase chain reaction. A group of 16S rRNA based fluorescent probes and primers targeting Archaea and Eubacteria were selected for microbial analysis. FISH results indicated the presence and dominance of a significant amount of Eubacteria and diverse group of methanogenic Archaea belonging to the order Methanococcales, Methanobacteriales, and Methanomicrobiales within in the UASB reactor. The influent brewery wastewater had a relatively high amount of volatile fatty acids chemical oxygen demand (COD), 2005 mg/l and the final COD concentration of the reactor was 457 mg/l. The biogas analysis showed 60–69 % of methane, confirming the presence and activities of methanogens within the reactor. Biokinetics of the degradable organic substrate present in the brewery wastewater was further explored using Stover and Kincannon kinetic model, with the aim of predicting the final effluent quality. The maximum utilization rate constant U max and the saturation constant (K B) in the model were estimated as 18.51 and 13.64 g/l/day, respectively. The model showed an excellent fit between the predicted and the observed effluent COD concentrations. Applicability of this model to predict the effluent quality of the UASB reactor treating brewery wastewater was evident from the regression analysis (R 2 = 0.957) which could be used for optimizing the reactor performance.


Chemical Oxygen Demand Biogas Total Suspended Solid Chemical Oxygen Demand Removal Granular Sludge 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors gratefully acknowledge South African Breweries (SAB) for their continuous support for this study and the Durban University of Technology for the financial and laboratory support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abimbola M. Enitan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sheena Kumari
    • 1
    Email author
  • Feroz M. Swalaha
    • 2
  • J. Adeyemo
    • 3
  • Nishani Ramdhani
    • 1
  • Faizal Bux
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Water and Wastewater TechnologyDurban University of TechnologyDurbanSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology and Food TechnologyDurban University of TechnologyDurbanSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Civil Engineering and SurveyingDurban University of TechnologyDurbanSouth Africa

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