Performance Evaluation and Substrate Removal Kinetics of an Anaerobic Packed-Bed Biofilm Reactor

  • Siddhartha PandeyEmail author
  • Sudipta Sarkar
Research paper


The present study is based on the investigation of process kinetics of a two-phase anaerobic packed-bed biofilm reactor (AnPBR) with PVA gel beads as biocarrier treating synthetic wastewater-containing molasses. During the steady-state conditions, the reactor system was attributed to 89% of COD removal efficiency. For the comparison of substrate loading removal rate with the prediction of Grau’s second-order model and Stover–Kincannon substrate removal model, AnPBR reactor was run under different hydraulic retention times (HRT) and organic loads. The experimental data obtained from the steady-state conditions showed that Stover–Kincannon model and Grau’s second-order model were the most appropriate models for the proper description of the reactor. Both the Grau’s second-order model and Stover–Kincannon model gave very high correlation coefficients of 98.36% and 98.37%, respectively, for the overall reactor system. Thus, both of these models can be used efficiently for the prediction of behavior and to design the AnPBR reactors.

Article Highlights

  • Grau second order model gave a high correlation coefficient of 98.36%

  • Stover–Kincannon model also gave high correlation coefficients of 98.37%

  • Both the models can be used to design the AnPBR reactors

  • Efficient prediction of behavior of AnPBR reactors can be done by these models


Anaerobic PVA gel Two-phase Kinetics Stover–Kincannon Grau 



The authors are thankful to Mr. Vipin rose, Head of operations, Kuraray India Private Ltd for help procuring the PVA gel beads and technical support during the study. One of the authors, S.P., is indebted to Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), Government of India for the financial support provided to him through MHRD fellowship.


  1. Abdullah AGL, Idris A, Ahmadun FR, Baharin BS, Emby F, Noor MJMM, Nour AH (2005) A kinetic study of a membrane anaerobic reactor (MAR) for treatment of sewage sludge. Desalination 183:439–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Basri MF, Yacob S, Hassan MA, Shirai Y, Wakisaka M, Zakaria MR, Phang LY (2009) Improved biogas production from palm oil mill effluent by a scaled-down anaerobic treatment process. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 26(3):505–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bhunia P, Ghangrekar MM (2008) Analysis, evaluation, and optimization of kinetic parameters for performance appraisal and design of UASB reactors. Bioresour Technol 99(7):2132–2140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Borja R, Banks CJ, Wang Z (1994) Performance and kinetics of an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor treating slaughterhouse wastewater. J Environ Sci Health Part A 29(10):2063–2085Google Scholar
  5. Borghei SM, Sharbatmaleki M, Pourrezaie P, Borghei G (2008) Kinetics of organic removal in fixed-bed aerobic biological reactor. Bioresour Technol 99:1118–1124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bu N (2002) Determination of kinetic constants of an anaerobic hybrid reactor. Process Biochem 38:73–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Büyükkamaci N, Filibeli A (2002) Determination of kinetic constants of an anaerobic hybrid reactor. Process Biochem 38(1):73–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chatterjee P, Lahtinen L, Kokko M, Rintala J (2018) Remediation of sedimented fiber originating from pulp and paper industry: laboratory scale anaerobic reactor studies and ideas of scaling up. Water Res 143:209–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen YR, Hashimoto AG (1980) Substrate utilisation kinetic model for biological treatment processes. Biotechnol Bioeng 22:2081CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chen Y, Cheng JJ, Creamer KS (2008) Inhibition of anaerobic digestion process: a review. Bioresour Technol 99(10):4044–4064CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Choi JM, Han SK, Lee CY (2018) Enhancement of methane production in anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge by thermal hydrolysis pretreatment. Bioresour Technol 259:207–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Contois DE (1959) Kinetics of bacterial growth: relationship between population density and specific growth rate of continuous cultures. J Gen Microbiol 21(1):40–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cord-Ruwisch R, Seitz HJ, Conrad R (1988) The capacity of hydrogenotrophic anaerobic bacteria to compete for traces of hydrogen depends on the redox potential of the terminal electron acceptor. Arch Microbiol 149(4):350–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. De Bok FA, Harmsen HJ, Plugge CM, de Vries MC, Akkermans AD, de Vos WM, Stams AJ (2005) The first true obligately syntrophic propionate-oxidizing bacterium, Pelotomaculum schinkii sp nov, co-cultured with Methanospirillum hungatei, and emended description of the genus Pelotomaculum. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 55(4):1697–1703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Debik E, Coskun T (2009) Use of the Static Granular Bed Reactor (SGBR) with anaerobic sludge to treat poultry slaughterhouse wastewater and kinetic modeling. Bioresour Technol 100(11):2777–2782CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Demirer GN, Chen S (2005) Two-phase anaerobic digestion of unscreened dairy manure. Process Biochem 40(11):3542–3549CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dereli RK, Ersahin ME, Ozgun H, Ozturk I, Jeison D, van der Zee F, van Lier JB (2012) Potentials of anaerobic membrane bioreactors to overcome treatment limitations induced by industrial wastewaters. Bioresour Technol 122:160–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. di Biase A, Devlin TR, Kowalski M, Oleszkiewicz JA (2018) Optimization of surface area loading rate for an anaerobic moving bed biofilm reactor treating brewery wastewater. J Clean Prod 172:1121–1127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Donoso-Bravo A, Mailier J, Martin C, Rodríguez J, Aceves-Lara CA, Wouwer AV (2011) Model selection, identification and validation in anaerobic digestion: a review. Water Res 45(17):5347–5364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ebrahimi A, Hashemi H, Eslami H, Fallahzadeh RA, Khosravi R, Askari R, Ghahramani E (2018) Kinetics of biogas production and chemical oxygen demand removal from compost leachate in an anaerobic migrating blanket reactor. J Environ Manag 206:707–714CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fu B, Conrad R, Blaser M (2018) Potential contribution of acetogenesis to anaerobic degradation in methanogenic rice field soils. Soil Biol Biochem 119:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ganesh R, Rajinikanth R, Thanikal JV, Ramanujam RA, Torrijos M (2010) Anaerobic treatment of winery wastewater in fixed bed reactors. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng 33(5):619–628CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gani KM, Singh J, Singh NK, Ali M, Rose V, Kazmi AA (2016) Nitrogen and carbon removal efficiency of a polyvinyl alcohol gel based moving bed biofilm reactor system. Water Sci Technol 73(7):1511–1519CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Göblös S, Portörő P, Bordás D, Kálmán M, Kiss I (2008) Comparison of the effectivities of two-phase and single-phase anaerobic sequencing batch reactors during dairy wastewater treatment. Renewable Energy 33(5):960–965CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Grau P, Dohanyos M, Chudoba J (1975) Kinetics of multi-component substrate removal by activated sludge. Water Res 9:637–642CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kongjan P, Inchan S, Chanthong S, Jariyaboon R, Reungsang A, Sompong O (2018) Hydrogen production from xylose by moderate thermophilic mixed cultures using granules and biofilm up-flow anaerobic reactors. Int J Hydrogen Energy. (article in press)
  27. Leitão RC, Van Haandel AC, Zeeman G, Lettinga G (2006) The effects of operational and environmental variations on anaerobic wastewater treatment systems: a review. Bioresour Technol 97(9):1105–1118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ma J, Yu L, Frear C, Zhao Q, Li X, Chen S (2013) Bioresource Technology Kinetics of psychrophilic anaerobic sequencing batch reactor treating flushed dairy manure. Bioresour Technol 131:6–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Maleki E, Bokhary A, Liao BQ (2018) A review of anaerobic digestion bio-kinetics. Rev Environ Sci Bio/Technol, 17(4):691–705CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Micolucci F, Uellendhal H (2018) Two-stage dry anaerobic digestion process control of biowaste for hydrolysis and biogas optimization. Chem Eng Technol 41(4):717–726CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pandey S, Sarkar S (2017) Anaerobic treatment of wastewater using a two-stage packed-bed reactor containing polyvinyl alcohol gel beads as biofilm carrier. J Environ Chem Eng 5(2):1575–1585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pandey S, Singh NK, Bansal AK, Arutchelvan V, Sarkar S (2016) Alleviation of toxic hexavalent chromium using indigenous aerobic bacteria isolated from contaminated tannery industry sites. Prep Biochem Biotechnol 46(5):517–523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pavlostathis SG, Giraldo-Gomez E (2009) Kinetics of anaerobic treatment: a critical review. Crit Rev Environ Sci Technol 21(5–6):411–490Google Scholar
  34. Pfeffer JT (1974) Temperature effects on anaerobic fermentation of domestic refuse. Biotechnol Bioeng 16(6):771–787CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Priya KR, Sandhya S, Swaminathan K (2009) Kinetic analysis of treatment of formaldehyde containing wastewater in UAFB reactor. Chem Eng J 148(2):212–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Qiao L, Xu W, Mao S, Li Y, Zhang Y (2019) Study on the expanded culture and kinetics of anammox bacteria in the upper flow packed bed. Sci Total Environ 650:1173–1181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rajagopal R, Massé DI, Singh G (2013) A critical review on inhibition of anaerobic digestion process by excess ammonia. Bioresour Technol 143:632–641CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ramakrishnan A, Gupta SK (2008) Effect of hydraulic retention time on the biodegradation of complex phenolic mixture from simulated coal wastewater in hybrid UASB reactors. J Hazard Mater 153(1–2):843CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sandhya S, Swaminathan K (2006) Kinetic analysis of treatment of textile wastewater in hybrid column upflow anaerobic fixed bed reactor. Chem Eng J 122(1):87–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Schmidt JE, Ahring BK (1993) Effects of hydrogen and formate on the degradation of propionate and butyrate in thermophilic granules from an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor. Appl Environ Microbiol 59(8):2546–2551Google Scholar
  41. Sharma MK, Kazmi AA (2015) Substrate removal kinetics of domestic wastewater treatment in a two-stage anaerobic system. Sep Sci Technol 50(17):2752–2758Google Scholar
  42. Singh NK, Pandey S, Singh S, Singh S, Kazmi AA (2016) Post treatment of UASB effluent by using inorganic coagulants: role of zeta potential and characterization of solid residue. J Environ Chem Eng 4(2):1495–1503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sponza DT (2005) Substrate removal kinetics in an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor decolorising simulated textile wastewater. Process Biochem 40:1189–1198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tanisho S, Ishiwata Y (1994) Continuous hydrogen production from molasses by the bacterium Enterobacter aerogenes. Int J Hydrogen Energy 19(10):807–812CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tönük GU (2004) Anaerobic treatment of domestic wastewaters in upflow sludge blanket reactors. Gazi Univ J Sci 17(2):141–154Google Scholar
  46. Turkdogan-Aydinol FI, Yetilmezsoy K, Comez S, Bayhan H (2011) Performance evaluation and kinetic modeling of the start-up of a UASB reactor treating municipal wastewater at low temperature. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng 34(2):153–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ubay G (1994) Anaerobic treatment of municipal wastewater. Doctoral dissertation, PhD Thesis, Istanbul Technical University, TurkeyGoogle Scholar
  48. Umana O, Nikolaeva S, Sánchez E, Borja R, Raposo F (2008) Treatment of screened dairy manure by upflow anaerobic fixed bed reactors packed with waste tyre rubber and a combination of waste tyre rubber and zeolite: effect of the hydraulic retention time. Bioresour Technol 99(15):7412–7417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wang P, Wang H, Qiu Y, Ren L, Jiang B (2018) Microbial characteristics in anaerobic digestion process of food waste for methane production–a review. Bioresour Technol 248:29–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wilkie AC, Castro HF, Cubinski KR, Owens JM, Yan SC (2004) Fixed-film anaerobic digestion of flushed dairy manure after primary treatment: wastewater production and characterisation. Biosystems engineering 89(4):457–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Xin X, He J, Li L, Qiu W (2018) Enzymes catalyzing pre-hydrolysis facilitated the anaerobic fermentation of waste activated sludge with acidogenic and microbiological perspectives. Bioresour Technol 250:69–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Yetilmezsoy K (2012) Integration of kinetic modelling and desirability function approach for multi-objective optimization of UASB reactor treating poultry manure wastewater. Bioresour Technol 118:89–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Yilmaz T, Yuceer A, Basibuyuk M (2008) A comparison of the performance of mesophilic and thermophilic anaerobic filters treating papermill wastewater. Bioresour Technol 99:156–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Zaher U, Frear C, Pandey P, Chen S (2008) Evaluation of a new fixed-bed digester design utilizing large media for flush dairy manure treatment. Bioresource technology, 99(18): 8619–8625CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© University of Tehran 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringVSB Engineering CollegeKarurIndia
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia

Personalised recommendations