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Anaerobic Baffled Reactor

Martin Wafler, seecon international gmbh

Anaerobic Baffled Reactor 1


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The contents of the SSWM Toolbox reflect the opinions of the respective authors and not necessarily the official opinion of the funding or
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Depending on the initial situations and respective local circumstances, there is no guarantee that single measures described in the toolbox
will make the local water and sanitation system more sustainable. The main aim of the SSWM Toolbox is to be a reference tool to provide
ideas for improving the local water and sanitation situation in a sustainable manner. Results depend largely on the respective situation
and the implementation and combination of the measures described. An in-depth analysis of respective advantages and disadvantages and
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Anaerobic Baffled Reactor


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Contents

1. Concept
2. How it can optimize SSWM
3. Design principals
4. Treatment efficiency
5. Operation and maintenance
6. Applicability
7. Advantages and disadvantages
8. References

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1. Concept

Background and working principal (adapted from U.S. EPA 2006, SASSE 1998)

physical and biological (anaerobic)


treatment of wastewater
integrated sedimentation chamber for
pre-treatment of wastewater
alternating standing and hanging baffles
wastewater passes through the sludge to
move to the next compartment
solid retention time (SRT) separated from
hydraulic retention time (HRT)
high treatment rates due to enhanced
contact of incoming wastewater with
residual sludge and high solid retention
low sludge production
Cut-away view and longitudinal section of an ABR
Source: SANIMAS (2005), MOREL & DIENER (2006)

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1. Concept

Examples

Construction of different toilet blocks connected to twopre-fabricated fibreglass reactors comprising a


settling chamber, an aerobic baffled reactor and a final anaerobic filter unit
Source: BORDA 2009

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1. Concept

Examples

Biogas settler as settlement compartment (near completion) at Pestalozzi School, Zambia


Source: http://www.germantoilet.org/

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1. Concept

Examples

The ABR under construction, down pipes and perforated slabs to support filter media in the Anaerobic Filter
(AF) sections, pouring ABRs concrete slab at Pestalozzi School, Zambia
Source: http://www.germantoilet.org/

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1. Concept

Examples

ABR (part of DEWATS) at Adarsh Vidyaprasarak Sansthas College of Arts & Commerce, India
Source: N. Zimmermann

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1. Concept

Examples

ABR (part of DEWATS) at Sunga Wastewater Treatment Plant, Kathmandu, Nepal


Source: N. Zimmermann

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2. How it can optimize SSWM

treatment of all wastewater (grey-, black- and/or industrial


wastewater) that it is fit (after secondary treatment) for reuse
and/or safe disposal

allows for recovery of biogas, which can be used as a substitute to


e.g. LPG or fuel wood in cooking

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3. Design principals

ABRs start with settling chamber for larger solids and impurities (SASSE 1998)
followed by series of at least 2 (MOREL & DIENER 2006), sometimes up to 5 (SASSE 1998) up-
flow chambers

Hydraulic Retention Time (HRT) is relatively short and varies from only
a few hours up to two or three days (FOXON et al. 2004; MOREL & DIENER 2006; TILLEY et al. 2008)

up-flow velocity is the most crucial parameter for dimensioning,


especially with high hydraulic loading. It should not exceed 2.0 m/h (SASSE
1998; MOREL & DIENER 2006).

organic load <3 kg COD/m3/day. Higher loading-rates are possible with


higher temperature and for easily degradable substrates (SASSE 1998)

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4. Treatment efficiency

Treatment performance of ABRs is in the range of (SASSE 1998; MOREL & DIENER 2006; BORDA 2008)

Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) removal: 65% to 90%,


Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) removal: 70% to 95%,
Total Suspended Solids (TSS) removal: up to 90% (SINGH 2008)
Pathogen reduction: low

Superior to BOD-removal (30% to 50%) of conventional septic tank (UNEP


2004).

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5. Operation and maintenance

inoculate (seed) ABR with active anaerobic sludge from e.g. septic
tank to speed up start-phase
allow bacteria to multiply, by starting with 1/4 of daily flow, and then
increasing loading rates over 3 months
long start-up time do not use ABRs when need for treatment is
immediate
check for water-tightness regularly and monitor scum and sludge
levels
remove sludge every 1 to 3 years (preferably by vacuum truck or
gulper to avoid that humans get in direct contact with sludge)
leave some active sludge in each compartment to maintain stable
treatment process
take care of advanced treatment and/or safe disposal of sludge

Source: adapted from SASSE 1998, TILLEY et al. 2008, EAWAG/SANDEC 2008

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5. Operation and maintenance

Examples

Use of straight handle (left) and Z-handle (right) brushes for cleaning of down-ward pipes
Source: K.P. Pravinjith

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5. Operation and maintenance

Examples

Measuring sludge levels


Source: K.P. Pravinjith

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6. Applicability

be installed in every type of climate, although efficiency is affected


in colder climates (TILLEY et al. 2008)
suited for household level or for small neighbourhood as DEWATS
(Decentralized Wastewater Treatment System) (EAWAG/SANDEC 2008)
suited for industrial wastewaters
be designed for daily inflows in a range of some m3/day up to several
hundreds of m3/day (FOXON et al. 2004; TILLEY et al. 2008)
in general, installed underground and therefore appropriate for areas
where land is limited
been pre-fabricated from e.g. fibreglass and used as final step for
emergency sanitations (BORDA 2009)

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7. Advantages and disadvantages


Advantages: Disadvantages:
extremely stable to hydraulic needs expert design
shock loads
long start-up phase
high treatment performance
needs strategy for faecal sludge
simple to construct and operate management
no electrical requirements effluent requires secondary
treatment and/or appropriate
low capital and operating costs,
discharge
depending on economy of scale
clear design guidelines are not
low sludge generation
available yet
biogas can be recovered
low reduction of pathogens

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8. References

BORDA (2009): EmSan - Emergency Sanitation. An innovative & rapidly installable solution to improve hygiene and
health in emergency situations (Concept Note). Bremen: Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association
(BORDA)

EAWAG/SANDEC (2008): Sanitation Systems and Technologies. Lecture Notes. (=Sandec Training Tool 1.0, Module 4).
Duebendorf: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science (EAWAG), Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing
Countries (SANDEC)

FOXON, K.M., PILLAY, S., LALBAHADUR, T., RODDA, N., HOLDER, F., BUCKLEY, C.A. (2004): The anaerobic baffled
reactor (ABR)- An appropriate technology for on-site sanitation. In=Water SA Vol. 30 No. 5 (Special edition)

MOREL A., DIENER S. 2006. Greywater Management in Low and Middle-Income Countries. Review of different treatment
systems for households or neighbourhoods. Duebendorf: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology
(Eawag).

SANIMAS (2005): Informed Choice Catalogue. PPT-Presentation. BORDA and USAID

SASSE, L. (1998): DEWATS Decentralised Wastewater Treatment in Developing Countries. Bremen: Bremen Overseas
Research and Development Association (BORDA)

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8. References

SINGH, S., HABERLA, R., MOOG, O., SHRESTA, R.R., SHRESTA, P., SHRESTA, R. (2009): Performance of an anaerobic
baffled reactor and hybrid constructed wetland treating high-strength wastewater in Nepal- A model for DEWATS. In:
Ecological Engineering 35. 654-660

TILLEY, E., LUETHI, C., MOREL, A., ZURBRUEGG, C., SCHERTENLEIB, R. (2008): Compendium of Sanitation Systems and
Technologies. Duebendorf and Geneva: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science (EAWAG) & Water Supply and
Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)

U.S. EPA (2006): Emerging Technologies for Biosolids Management. (=EPA 832-R-06-005). United States Environmental
Protection Agency, Office of Wastewater Management

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