High-rate anaerobic-aerobic biological treatment of a wastewater from a Fischer-Tropsch process

M. Beccari, M. Majone, Davide Dionisi, A. Donadio, E.N. D'Addario, R. Sbardellati

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This study investigates the anaerobic-aerobic treatment of an industrial wastewater from
a Fischer-Tropsch process. The considered synthetic wastewater has an overall
concentration of 28 gCOD/L, mainly due to alcohols. The continuous anaerobic process
was studied in a fixed-bed reactor under mesophilic conditions (35°C). Gradual start-up,
starting from 3.4 gCOD/L/day, was used in order to overcome potential inhibition from
long-chain alcohols (>C6). Then, the process was operated successfully by feeding with
the wastewater, with neither pretreatment nor dilution, up to an organic load rate of 20
gCOD/L/day (hydraulic retention time 1.4 days). 96% COD removal and full
conversion of removed COD into methane was obtained (about one third coming from
hydrogenophilic methanogenesis). By considering a potential of 200 tCOD/day to be
treated, that would also correspond to a net production of electric energy of about 8*107
kWh/year. The effluent of the anaerobic reactor contained only acetic and propionic
acids, that were easily removed under aerobic conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-458
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Engineering Transactions
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventIndustrial Biotechnology International Conference - Naples, Italy
Duration: 8 Jun 200811 Jun 2008

Bibliographical note

This research was carried out under the contract 122/2006 between the Department of
Chemistry and Enitecnologie S.p.A (now Eni S.p.A). The kind assistance of ACEAATO2 staff at the “Roma Nord” WWTP is gratefully acknowledged.


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