Comparative anaerobic treatment of wastewater from pharmaceutical, brewery, paper and amino acid producing industries

  • Jesús Rodríguez-Martínez
  • Silvia Y. Martínez-Amador
  • Yolanda Garza-García
Environmental Biotechnology


This study concerned the anaerobic treatment of five different industrial wastewaters with a diverse and complex chemical composition. The kinetics of biotransformation of this wastewater at different chemical oxygen demand (COD) were studied in a batch reactor. Wastewater from an amino acid producing industry (Fermex) and from a tank that received several types of wastewaters (collector) contained 0.83 g l−1 and 0.085 g l−1 sulfate, respectively. During the study period of 20 days, methane formation was observed in all types of wastewaters. Studies on COD biodegradation showed the reaction velocity was higher for Fermex wastewater and lower for collector wastewater, with values of 0.0022 h−1 and 0.0011 h−1, respectively. A lower methanogenic activity of 0.163 g CH4 day−1 g−1 volatile suspended solids (VSS) and 0.20 g CH4 day−1 g−1 VSS, respectively, was observed for paper producing and brewery wastewater. Adapted granular sludge showed the best biodegradation of COD during the 20-day period. The sulfate-reducing activity in pharmaceutical and collector wastewater was studied. A positive effect of sulfate-reducing activity on methanogenic activity was noted for both types of wastewaters, both of which contained sulfate ions. All reactions of methane generation for the tested industrial wastewaters were first-order. The results of this study suggest that the tested wastewaters are amenable to anaerobic treatment.


Anaerobic treatment Adapted granular sludge Non-adapted granular sludge Industrial effluent 



We thank the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jesús Rodríguez-Martínez
    • 1
  • Silvia Y. Martínez-Amador
    • 1
  • Yolanda Garza-García
    • 1
  1. 1.Biotechnology Department, Chemistry FacultyAutonomous University of CoahuilaSaltilloMexico

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