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Biodegradation Study of Cellulose bearing Wastewater in Activated Sludge System

Authors : Biswabandhu Chatterjee, Sanjit Mandal and Debabrata Mazumder



Due to the inert nature of cellulose, decomposition of cellulose present in food processing industry wastewater and digestate generating from organic solid waste treatment units is a key aspect in abetting global industrial pollution. The present study describes the performance of an aerobic bioreactor treating cellulose bearing synthetic wastewater. Complete acclimation with cellulose bearing synthetic wastewater was achieved within 10–12 weeks of initiating the acclimation batch runs. Maximum removal of the introduced chemical oxygen demand (COD) was recorded to be 70.4% mid-way through the acclimation phase. An average COD removal percentage in between 64% and 67% was noticed at the end of the acclimation phase. Inhibition of the bioreactor was noticed when the percentage of cellulose in the synthetic wastewater was increased above 70%. This resulted in sharp fall in system pH along with pronounced lowering of MLSS and percentage COD removal. Stability in the reactor performance was however, restored with the adjustment of pH and supplementation of micro-nutrients at suitable levels.

COD profile for various CMC (C) to dextrose (D) ratios



Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), aerobic biodegradation, synthetic wastewater, COD removal, acclimation study.