Anaerobic treatment and resource recovery from methanol rich waste gases and wastewaters

Tejaswini Eregowda

Tutkimustuotos: VäitöskirjaCollection of Articles


Methanol is an important volatile organic compound (VOC) present in the gaseous and liquid effluents of process industries such as pulp and paper, paint manufacturing and petroleum refineries. An estimated 55,377 tonnes of methanol was emitted to the atmosphere in the year 2017 in the United States alone and at least 65% of the total emission was from the Kraft mills of the pulp and paper industries. The anaerobic biological treatment of methanol-rich gaseous and liquid effluents was tested in two bioreactor configurations, namely a biotrickling filter (BTF) and an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor. The volatile fatty acids (VFA) produced in these bioreactors were quantified and a mass balance analysis was carried out. Gas-phase methanol removal along with thiosulfate (~ 1000 mg/L) reduction was carried out for 123 d in an anoxic BTF. A maximum elimination capacity (ECmax) of 21 g/m3.h for methanol and complete removal of thiosulfate was achieved. To examine the gas-phase methanol removal along with selenate reduction, another anoxic BTF was operated for 89 d under step and continuous selenate feeding, wherein the selenate removal efficiency was > 90% and ~ 68%, respectively, during step and continuous selenate feed and a methanol ECmax of 46 g/m3.h was achieved. The anaerobic bioreduction of selenate coupled to methane oxidation was investigated in batch reactors and a BTF inoculated with marine sediment and operated for a period of 348 d. Complete reduction of up to 140 mg/L of step fed selenate was achieved in the BTF. Furthermore, the effect of selenate, sulfate and thiosulfate on methanol utilization for VFA production was individually examined in batch systems. For the study on liquid-phase methanol, acetogenesis of foul condensate (FC) obtained from a chemical pulping industry was tested in three UASB reactors operated at 22, 37 and 55 ºC for 51 d. A maximum methanol removal efficiency of 45% in the 55 ºC reactor and nearly complete removal of ethanol and acetone in all UASB reactors was achieved. Prior to acetogenesis of the FC, the UASB reactors were operated for a period of 113 d under conditions reported to induce acetogenesis of methanol-rich synthetic wastewater. The recovery of VFA was explored through adsorption studies using anion exchange resins in batch systems. The trends and capacity of adsorption of individual VFA on Amberlite IRA-67 and Dowex optipore L-493 were examined by fitting the experimental data to adsorption isotherm and kinetic models. Subsequently, a sequential batch process was tested to achieve selective separation of acetate from the VFA mixture.
KustantajaTampere University
TilaJulkaistu - 23 toukok. 2019
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG5 Artikkeliväitöskirja


NimiTampere University Dissertations


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