Effect of two heavy metals, cadmium and nickel, on the organic load removal efficiency in a laboratory UASB reactor
Experiments were carried out in three up flow anaerobic sludge blanket, UASB, reactors each with 3 L capacity, four hours of hydraulic retention time, (HRT) and volumetric organic load of 4,8 g/L/d. After the initial start phase, which was of 4.000 hours for the three reactors, they were affected in the following way: the first reactor was continuously feed with 5 mg/L of cadmium chloride, the second one was continuously feed with 10 mg/L of nickel chloride and the last one was not affected and served as reference. Efficiency in organic load removal was measured as oxygen chemical demand (OCD), the first reactor changed from 60% in the start phase (phase one) to 18% in the cadmium affected phase (phase two), efficiency in removal (OCI) in reactor two varied from 60 to 24% and the last one did not change in a noticeable manner. Reactor one accumulated cadmium in the mud, whereas reactor two did not do that with nickel.
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