American Society of Civil Engineers

Biotransformation of Carbon Tetrachloride and Anaerobic Granulation in a Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket Reactor

by Delia Teresa Sponza, (Professor, Engineering Faculty, Environmental Engineering Dept., Dokuz Eyll Univ., Buca Kaynaklar Campus, Izmir, Turkey. E-mail:

Journal of Environmental Engineering, Vol. 131, No. 3, March 2005, pp. 425-433, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Carbon tetrachloride (CT) in a synthetic wastewater was effectively degraded in a 2 l upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor during the granulation process by increasing the chemical oxygen demand (COD) and CT loadings. The effect of operational parameters such as influent CT concentrations, COD, CT loading, food to mass (F/M) ratio, and specific methanogenic activity (SMA) were also detected during granulation. Over 97% of CT was removed at 37°C, at a COD loading rate of 10 g/L day. Chemical oxygen demand and CT removal efficiencies of 92 and 88% were achieved when the reactor was operating at CT and COD loading rates of 17.5 mg/L day and 12.5 g/L day, respectively. This corresponds to an hydraulic retention time of 0.28 day and an F/M ratio of 0.57 g COD/g volatile suspended solids (VSS) day. In 4 weeks, the seed sludge developed the CT degrading capability that was not very sensitive to shocks. The granular sludge cultivated had a maximum diameter of 2.5 mm and SMA of 1.64 g COD/g VSS day. Glucose biodegradation by CT acclimated anaerobic granules was expressed with competitive inhibition. However the competitive inhibition was not significant since the competitive inhibition coefficient (Ki) was as high as 18.72 mg/L. Kinetic coefficients of k (maximum specific substrate utilization rate), Ks\d (half velocity coefficient), Y (growth yield coefficient), and b (decay coefficient) were determined as 0.6/day, 1.1 mg/L, 0.23 g VSS/g glucose-COD, and 0.01/day, respectively, based on growth substrate glucose.COD during CT biotransformation. The CT was treated via biodegradation and this contributed to 89% of the total removal. The removal contributions from biomass adsorption, abiotic transformation, and volatilization were negligible. Adsorption and volatilization accounted for only 0.8 and 0.5% of the total removal, respectively.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Biological processes
Organic matter
Waste treatment