Biological treatment of mixed industrial wastewaters in a fluidised bed reactor

Aoyi Ochieng, J. O. Odiyo, Mukayi Mutsago

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


A study has been carried out on the operating parameters that influence the biodegradation of petroleum and brewery wastewaters, with a low-density biomass support. The biodegradation rate of a mixture of two wastes was compared with that of the separate wastes. A low aspect ratio reactor was employed, and this made it possible to operate at low superficial gas and liquid velocities. The gas distributor used created a fluid flow pattern similar to that of a draft tube, which enhanced axial mixing. At a particles loading of 12% (v/v), the optimum superficial gas velocity was 2.5cm/s for the mixture. The interstice structure of the biomass-support particles, improved microbial attachment due to the resulting large surface area. There was a low biomass concentration when petroleum wastewater was treated alone, however, for a mixture of petroleum and brewery wastewaters, an increase in the concentration was observed. There was a higher gas hold up in the mixture than in the petroleum wastewater, but lower than in the brewery wastewater. An improved biodegradation was achieved when a mixture of brewery and petroleum wastewaters was treated, and this gave an indication that nutrient deficient wastes can be treated together with phosphate and nitrate rich food industry wastewaters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-90
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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