Up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) processes treating purified terephthalic acid (PTA) wastewater often face challenges associated with biomass loss. As excessive biomass loss could lead to deterioration of PTA removal, biostimulation and bioaugmentation were often practiced without understanding the microbial impact in UASB. Three laboratory-scale UASB reactors were operated with synthetic PTA wastewater as the feed, with two added with co-substrate (glucose or molasses) on Day 170 for 90 days, and one with external granules on Day 118. Throughout the operation, treatment performance was measured together with the analysis of microbial communities of biomass samples using 16S rRNA-based gene Illumina sequencing. Glucose amendment destabilized both terephthalic acid and para-toluic acid removal, while molasses amendment improved para-toluic acid removal. Both substrate addition generally led to decreases in the abundances of syntrophs and methanogens and increases in carbohydrate-fermenting bacteria in the granular sludge. Regarding bioaugmentation, paper mill granule addition led to a temporary crash of terephthalic acid removal for 42 days, and deterioration of para-toluic acid removal throughout the operation. Syntrophs and methanogens were observed to colonize on the paper mill granules after three months, meanwhile growth of methanogens were stimulated on the PTA granules added initially. Overall, proper level of molasses amendment and external granule inoculation could be promising strategies to make up for biomass loss during the operation of PTA-degrading UASB.
- Purified terephthalic acid wastewater
- Up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecological Modeling
- Water Science and Technology
- Waste Management and Disposal