Optimization of a Microbial Formulation Acclimated for Pilot-Scale Biodegradation of Paper Mill Effluent

Luis Alberto Ordaz-Díaz, Sergio Valle-Cervantes, Juan Antonio Rojas-Contreras, Felipa de Jesus Rodriguez-Flores, Ana María Bailón-Salas


A pilot-scale aerated lagoon was used for the aerobic treatment of pulp and paper mill effluent from September 1 to December 1, 2014. The aerated lagoon was installed at the chemistry laboratory in the Chemical Engineering Department at the Durango Institute of Technology and was fed with real pulp and paper mill effluent. The experimental work was run under various operating conditions. The operating parameters (total and volatile suspended solids (VSS) and dissolved oxygen concentration (DO)) and environmental variables (temperature, pH, COD, and BOD5 of influent water) were monitored daily. In all the experiments conducted, the aerated lagoon generated an effluent of optimal quality complying with the requirements of SEMARNAT (2003) and CONAGUA (2003). A model that explains the behavior of the system under realistic operating conditions was obtained. The model indicated an optimal DO of approximately 4 mg/L for concentrations up to 1000 mg/L, showing variations in concentrations above this value. This data indicate that the flexibility of the bacterial formulation and its ability to adapt to environmental changes play an important role in the stability of an aerated lagoon.


Optimization; Pilot scale; Model; Real conditions; Effluent; Pulp and paper; Microbial; Lagoon

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