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Biomethanation of Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) by Membrane Anaerobic System (MAS) using POME as a Substrate

Authors: N.H. Abdurahman, Y. M. Rosli, N. H. Azhari, S. F. Tam


The direct discharge of palm oil mill effluent (POME) wastewater causes serious environmental pollution due to its high chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). Traditional ways for POME treatment have both economical and environmental disadvantages. In this study, a membrane anaerobic system (MAS) was used as an alternative, cost effective method for treating POME. Six steady states were attained as a part of a kinetic study that considered concentration ranges of 8,220 to 15,400 mg/l for mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) and 6,329 to 13,244 mg/l for mixed liquor volatile suspended solids (MLVSS). Kinetic equations from Monod, Contois and Chen & Hashimoto were employed to describe the kinetics of POME treatment at organic loading rates ranging from 2 to 13 kg COD/m3/d. throughout the experiment, the removal efficiency of COD was from 94.8 to 96.5% with hydraulic retention time, HRT from 400.6 to 5.7 days. The growth yield coefficient, Y was found to be 0.62gVSS/g COD the specific microorganism decay rate was 0.21 d-1 and the methane gas yield production rate was between 0.25 l/g COD/d and 0.58 l/g COD/d. Steady state influent COD concentrations increased from 18,302 mg/l in the first steady state to 43,500 mg/l in the sixth steady state. The minimum solids retention time, which was obtained from the three kinetic models ranged from 5 to 12.3 days. The k values were in the range of 0.35 – 0.519 g COD/ g VSS • d and values were between 0.26 and 0.379 d-1. The solids retention time (SRT) decreased from 800 days to 11.6 days. The complete treatment reduced the COD content to 2279 mg/l equivalent to a reduction of 94.8% reduction from the original.

Keywords: Kinetics, Membrane, POME, anaerobic, COD reduction, monod, contois equation

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