Communications Project

Document Type:Master's Thesis
Name:Kristina L. Perri
Title:The Effectiveness of Multiple Redox Treatment Strategies on the Treatability of a High Strength Industrial Wastewater
Degree:Master of Science
Department:Environmental Engineering
Committee Chair: Dr. Nancy G. Love
Committee Members:Dr. Gregory D. Boardman
Dr. John T. Novak
Keywords:anaerobic/aerobic, anoxic/aerobic, aerobic, sequencing batch reactors, industrial wastewater, biological degradation
Date of defense:September 17, 1997
Availability:Release the entire work for Virginia Tech access only.
After one year release worldwide only with written permission of the student and the advisory committee chair.


The treatability of a high strength industrial wastewater, 9,000 mg/L as chemical oxygen demand (COD), by three sequencing batch reactor (SBRs) systems operated under alternating redox environments: anaerobic/aerobic (ANA), anoxic/aerobic (ANX), and aerobic was investigated. A synthetic wastewater was modeled after a wastewater from an existing chemical processing facility. The largest component, hydroxypivaldehyde, was unavailable for the use in this research and was substituted by pivalic acid, both of which have a tertiary carbon. No significant degradation occurred in the anaerobic phase of operation; however, 55-65% of the COD was removed during anoxic operation. Simultaneous removal of pivalic acid and acetic acid was seen in both the anoxic and aerobic reaction phases. The anoxic/aerobic SBR provided the best overall treatability of the synthetic wastewater based on: effluent quality, sludge characteristics and settling properties. The results suggested that anoxic/aerobic treatment schemes are a viable treatment alternative for industrial wastewaters containing high concentrations of organic acids, including acids with tertiary carbons. The treatability of the three alternating redox environments on the Industry’s wastewater was also investigated. Again, no significant degradation of the industrial wastewater occurred during the anaerobic reaction phase. During the anoxic reaction phase, 15-20% of the COD was removed from the industrial wastewater in contrast to the high removals seen with the synthetic wastewater. The aerobic SBR provided the best COD removal for the industrial wastewater. The performance differences between the synthetic and industrial wastewaters stress the importance of treatability studies on the actual industrial wastewater. Biological treatment of the synthetic and Industry wastewaters was unable to achieve the effluent goal of 100 mg/L as COD. Sand filtration followed by granular activated carbon adsorption treatment of the effluent from the synthetic wastewater-fed ANA SBR provided the COD removal necessary to achieve the effluent goal.

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