Study of the Operation of a Continuous Modular Bioreactor Used for Treatment of Wastewater from a Recycling Industry of by-Products from Slaughterhouses

  • Alcides Tonhato JuniorEmail author
  • Camilo Freddy Mendoza Morejon
  • Salah Din Mahmud Hasan


The objective of this paper was to present the operational performance of a bioreactor’s technology for treating wastewater from a recycling industry of by-products from slaughterhouses. In addition, it contributes to overcome the main disadvantages of treatment using Australian pond systems. The modular bioreactor described in this work consists of an alternative and innovative equipment that operates continuously on an industrial scale, which enables the treatment of liquid waste. The modular bioreactor was constructed of reinforced concrete with dimensions 70 m in length, 1.2 m in width, and 0.6 m in height, with an internal volume of 35,000 L, the process of wastewater degradation alternating between aerobic and anoxic conditions, being predominantly anoxic. The bioreactor was tested in two stages, by using this industrial wastewater. In the first stage, totaling 243 days, a primary effluent was added, consisting of high concentration of pollutants; and in a second stage, totaling 288 days, it was added a biologically pretreated effluent (after an anaerobic post-digestion process). The input-output parameters pH, turbidity, conductivity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen were monitored weekly, while total phosphorus, orthophosphate, total nitrogen, ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, total suspended solids, sedimented solids, oils and greases, COD, BOD, and alkalinity parameters were determined monthly. The bioreactor was promising in terms of pollutant removal efficiency, and partial nitrification may have occurred on a continuous scale in the first stage of the tests.


Bioreactor Wastewater treatment Nutrient removal Partial nitrification 



biochemical oxygen demand


chemical oxygen demand


effluent percolation rate


fast mixing speed


dissolved oxygen


rapid mixing time


slow mixing speed


slow mixing time


sedimented solids




toxicity Daphnia magna


toxicity factor


theoretical hydraulic retention time


total solids


toxicity vibrio fischeri


wastewater after primary treatment


wastewater after anaerobic digestion


upflow anaerobic sludge blanket



COD parameter of section 1


COD parameter of section 11


flow of the bioreactor


parameter in section 1


parameter in section 11


COD removal rate


volume of the bioreactor


percentage of removal of the parameter


standard deviation



The authors would like to thank the industry FARICON AGRÍCOLA LTDA which contributed to the research.

To CAPES for access to the SCOPUS database.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chemical Engineering DepartmentState University of West of Paraná–UnioesteToledoBrazil

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