Performance and sludge characteristics of UASB process treating propionate-rich wastewater

Herbert H.P. Fang, Y. Y. Li, H. K. Chui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


UASB process consistently removed 97-99% of chemical oxygen demand (COD) in wastewater containing concentrated propionate at 37°C in 12 h for loading rates up to 23 g-COD/1·day. Of all the COD removed, 95% was converted to methane and the rest was converted to biomass with an average sludge yield of 0.040 g-VSS/g-COD. Each gram of propionate-degrading granules in the reactor had a daily maximum capacity of converting 0.60 g of COD into methane. The granules were densely packed but did not exhibit any patterned microstructure. A typical propionate-degrading granule was composed of microcolonies of Methanothrix and several syntrophic microcolonies with hydrogen-producing acetogens in juxtaposition with hydrogen-consuming M. hungatei and Methanobrevibacter-like bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)895-898
Number of pages4
JournalWater Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • UASB
  • granule
  • loading rate
  • methanogenic activity
  • microstructure
  • propionate
  • wastewater
  • yield

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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