Ethanol addition as a strategy for start-up and acclimation of an AnSBBR for the treatment of landfill leachate
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This study evaluated the ethanol addition as a strategy for start-up and acclimation of a pilot scale (1300 L) anaerobic sequencing batch biofilm reactor (AnSBBR) for the treatment of municipal landfill leachate with seasonal biodegradability variations. The treatment was carried out at ambient temperature (23.8 ± 2.1 °C) in the landfill area. In a first attempt, the leachate collected directly from landfill showed to be predominantly recalcitrant to anaerobic treatment and the acclimation was not possible. In a second attempt, adding ethanol to leachate, the reactor was successfully acclimated. After acclimation, without ethanol addition, the CODTotal influent ranged from 4970 to 13040 mg L-1 and the removal efficiencies ranged from 12.1% to 70.7%. A final test was carried out increasing the ammonia and free-ammonia concentration from 2486 mgN L-1 and 184 mgN L-1 to 4519 mgN L-1 and 634 mgN L-1, respectively, with no expressive inhibition verified. The start-up strategy was found to be feasible, providing the acclimation of the biomass in the AnSBBR, and maintaining the biomass active even when the leachate was recalcitrant. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.