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Self-build packed-bed bioreactor for rapid and effective BOD estimation


This work demonstrated a simple, low-cost, rapid, and effective biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) estimation system based on a packed-bed bioreactor that can be easily self-built on-site at a particular wastewater treatment plant for continuous monitoring of the influent and effluent. The use of natural microbial consortium that were collected from the target wastewater and immobilized on a cheap porous carrier simply by adhesion resulted in an acceptable accuracy of over 95%. The newly developed semi-continuous operating mode with peak-type signals was shown to be able to continuously estimate BOD at a high flow rate to overcome the flow dependence of the oxygen electrode, limit clogging issues, enhance the response time, and lower the limit of detection. The resulting packed-bed bioreactors could work continuously for 22 h with a coefficient of variance (CoV) of only 1.8% or for 13 h a day for several days with a maximum CoV of 1.4% and their response was observed to be stable over 80 consecutive measurements. They exhibited stable responses at a wide pH range of 6.5–8.5, which is also the recommended range for aerobic wastewater treatment, emphasizing the greater ease of use of natural microorganisms for BOD estimation.

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We acknowledge the financial supports from the Kurita-AIT Research Grant and Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, under VAST07.01/19-20 project.

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Correspondence to Thi Thuy Phuong Pham.

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Responsible editor: Angeles Blanco

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Pham, T.T.P., Nguyen, P.H.D., Nguyen, T.T.V. et al. Self-build packed-bed bioreactor for rapid and effective BOD estimation. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 25656–25667 (2019).

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  • Packed-bed bioreactor
  • Biochemical oxygen demand
  • Biosensor
  • Semi-continuous operating