Enhancing the start-up of a UASB reactor treating domestic wastewater by adding a water extract of Moringa oleifera seeds
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Water extract of Moringa oleifera seeds (WEMOS) was used to enhance the start-up of a self-inoculated upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor treating raw domestic wastewater. Two reactors labelled control (RC) and WEMOS addition (RM) were started without special inoculum. Both reactors were fed continuously for 22 weeks with domestic wastewater containing an average total chemical oxygen demand (COD) of 320 mg O2/l and suspended solid (SS) of 165 mg/l. The reactors operated during the entire experimental period at 29°C and at a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 4 h. The RM reactor received 2 ml WEMOS per litre of influent. WEMOS solution was prepared on the basis of 2.5% (w/v) ground M. oleifera seeds in water. The results of 22 weeks' operation showed an improvement in the performance of the RM compared to that of the RC. The dosage of WEMOS in the feed (1) shortened the biological start-up period by 20%, (2) increased acidogenic and methanogenic activity by a factor of 2.4 and 2.2 respectively, (3) increased the specific biogas production by a factor of 1.6, (4) favoured fast growth of the sludge bed, and (5) allowed the aggregation of coccoid bacteria and growth of microbial nuclei, which are precursors of anaerobic granulation.
KeywordsChemical Oxygen Demand Biogas Water Extract Hydraulic Retention Time Biogas Production
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