Kinetic modelling of moving bed biofilm sequencing batch reactor for treatment of sugar industry effluent

Document Type : Research Paper


1 McDermott International Inc., Gurgaon, Haryana, India

2 Department of Chemical Engineering, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, U.P., India


India is the second-largest sugarcane producer and consumer in the world, with 29.66 million tonnes of annual production and 25.51 million tonnes of consumption, along with a high degree of contaminated wastewater from sugar industries. Sugar industries in India generate about 1,000 litres of wastewater for one tonne of crushed sugarcane. The effluent discharged from sugar industries contains high concentration of biochemical oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, total dissolved solids, nitrogen, and phosphorous, causing serious environmental pollution problems. A combination of suspended and attached growth wastewater treatment systems can be used by integrating a moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) with a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) known as the moving-bed biofilm sequencing batch reactor (MBSBR), which is an aerobic treatment method. It is a promising technology as it has no requirement for sludge recirculation and requires lesser reactor volumes. In this study, the moving-bed biofilm sequencing batch reactor has been modelled for treating sugar industry wastewater. At a cycle time of 2 h, the biochemical oxygen demand removal efficiency is around 87% at 500 mg/L, sludge loading rate is 13 kg BODm-2d-1, chemical oxygen demand removal efficiency is 84.2%, food to micro-organism ratio is 1.09, and the mixed liquor volatile suspended solids and mixed liquor suspended solids values are around 2909 mg/L and 3639 mg/L, respectively. The economic viability of this technology is still to be established for treating sugar industry wastewater. This study can guide scientists, researchers, designers, and consultants when selecting wastewater treatment technology for the sugar industry. This technology has the potential to be replicated in other industries with similar wastewater characteristics.


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