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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A study of anaerobic treatment of CTMP/TMP effluents Vipat, Vasudha


Prior to any extensive anaerobic treatment studies, it is essential to assess the impact of the components of the wastewater on the anaerobic microorganisms. Therefore, a simple, effective technique to assess the toxicity and degradability of various components of the wastewater is necessary. In this thesis, a technique is developed for measuring the biodegradability (Biochemical Methane Potential — BMP) and toxicity (Anaerobic Toxicity Assay — ATA) of the effluent components subjected to anaerobic treatment. The ATA measures the adverse effect of a compound on the rate of the total gas production from an easily-utilized methanogenic substrate (acetate and propionate). This method was used to determine the toxicity of sulphur compounds. Sulphate had no effect on anaerobic microorganisms, even at concentration of 1000 mg/L. Sulphide was found to be inhibitory above concentrations of 200 mg/L. Sulphite, on the other hand, was found to be extremely toxic even at a concentration of 100 mg/L. BMP is a measure of the substrate biodegradability determined by monitoring cumulative biogas production from a sample which is anaerobically incubated at constant temperature in a chemically defined medium. CTMP effluent was found to be more degradable and less toxic than TMP effluent. The degradability of CTMP effluent was maximum when it was diluted to between 50 and 25%, while that of the TMP effluent was maximum at 10% dilution.

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