Treatment of Wastewater from Purified Terephtalic Acid (PTA) Production in a Two-stage Anaerobic Expanded Granular Sludge Bed System

  • Received : 2014.09.03
  • Accepted : 2014.11.24
  • Published : 2014.12.31


The wastewater treatment with a two-phase expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB) system for anaerobic degradation of acetate, benzoate, terephtalate and p-toluate from purified terephtalic acid (PTA) production was studied. The feasibility and effectiveness of the system was evaluated in terms of organic oxidation by chemical oxygen demand (COD), gas production, bacterial adaptability and stability in the granular sludge. Average removal efficiencies 93.5% and 72.7% were achieved in the EGSB reactors under volumetric loading rates of $1.0-15kg-COD/m^3/day$ and terephtalate and p-toluate of 351-526 mg/L, respectively. Gas production reached total methane production rate of 0.30 L/g-COD under these conditions in the sequential EGSB reactor system. Higher strength influent COD concentration above 4.8 g-COD/L related to field conditions was fed to observe the disturbance of the EGSB reactors.


Anaerobic treatment;Expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB);Purified terephtalic acid (PTA);Two-phase;Wastewater


  1. Kleerebezem R, Lettinga G. High rate anaerobic treatment of purified terephthalic acid wastewater. Water Sci. Technol. 2000;42:259-268.
  2. Garg KK, Prasad B, Srivastava VC. Comparative study of industrial and laboratory prepared purified terephthalic acid (PTA) waste water with electro-coagulation process. Sep. Purif. Technol. 2014;128:80-88.
  3. Kleerebezem R, Beckers J, Pol LWH, Lettinga G. High rate treatment of terephthalic acid production wastewater in a two-stage anaerobic bioreactor. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2005;91:169-179.
  4. Wang ZJ, Teng LH, Zhang J, Huang XL, Zhang JF. Study on optimal biodegradation of terephthalic acid by an isolated Pseudomonas sp. Afr. J. Biotechnol. 2011;10:3143-3148.
  5. Lee MW, Joung JY, Lee DS, Park JM, Woo SH. Application of a moving window-adaptive neural network to the modeling of a full-scale anaerobic filter process. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 2005;44:3973-3782.
  6. Zhang XX, Wan YQ, Cheng SP, Sun SL, Zhu CJ, Li WX, Zhang XC, Wang GL, Lu JH, Luo X, Gu JD. Purified terephthalic acid wastewater biodegradation and toxicity. J. Environ. Sci. 2005;17:876-880.
  7. Qiu YL, Sekiguchi Y, Imachi H, Kamagata Y, Tseng IC, Cheng SS, Ohashi A, Harada H. Identification and isolation of anaerobic, syntrophic phthalate isomer-degrading microbes from methanogenic sludges treating wastewater from terephthalate manufacturing. Appl. Env. Microb. 2004;70:1617-1626.
  8. Pophali GR, Khan R, Dhodapkar RS, Nandy T, Devotta S. Anaerobic-aerobic treatment of PTA effluent: A techno-economic alternative to two-stage aero-bic process. J. Environ. Manage. 2007;85:1024-1033.
  9. Joung JY, Lee HW, Choi HS, Lee MW, Park JM. Influences of organic loading disturbances on the performance of anaerobic filter process to treat purified terephthalic acid wastewater. Bioresour. Technol. 2009;100:2457-2461.
  10. Macarie H, Guyot JP. Use of ferrous sulphate to reduce the redox potential and allow the start-up of UASB-reactors treating slowly biodegradable compounds: Application to a wastewater containing 4-methylbenzoic acid. Environ. Technol. 1995;16:1185-1192.
  11. Kleerebezem R, Hulshoff Pol LW, Lettinga G. Anaerobic degradation of phthalate isomers by methanogenic consortia. Appl. Environ. Microb. 1999;65:1152-1160.
  12. Kleerebezem R, Hulshoff Pol LW, Lettinga G. The role of benzoate in anaerobic degradation of terephthalate. Appl. Environ. Microb. 1999;65:1161-1167.
  13. Kleerebezem R, Mortier J, Hulshoff Pol LW, Lettinga G. Anaerobic pre-treatment of petrochemical effluents: Terephthalic acid wastewater. Water Sci. Technol. 1997;36:237-248.
  14. Tsuno H, Kawamura M, Oya T. Application of biological activated carbon anaerobic reactor for treatment of hazardous chemicals. Water Sci. Technol. 2006;53:251-260.
  15. Karthik M, Dafale N, Pathe P, Nandy T. Biodegradability enhancement of purified terephthalic acid wastewater by coagulation-flocculation process as pre-treatment. J. Hazard. Mater. 2008;154:721-730.
  16. Fajardo C, Guyot JP, Macarie H, Monroy O. Inhibition of anaerobic digestion by terephthalic acid and its aromatic by products. Water Sci. Technol. 1997;36:83-90.
  17. Young JC, Kim IS, Page IC, Wilson DR, Brown GJ, Cocci AA. Two stage anaerobic treatment of purified terephthalic acid production wastewaters. Water Sci. Technol. 2000;42:277-282.
  18. Zoutberg GR, Been Pd. The Biobed(R) EGSB (Expanded Granular Sludge Bed) system covers shortcomings of the up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor in the chemical industry. Water Sci. Technol. 1997;35:183-187.
  19. Fang C, O-Thong S, Boe K, Angelidaki I. Comparison of UASB and EGSB reactors performance for treatment of raw and deoiled palm oil mill effluent (POME). J. Hazard. Mater. 2011;189:229-234.
  20. Tsuno H, Kawamura M. Development of an expanded-bed GAC reactor for anaerobic treatment of terephthalate - containing wastewater. Water Res. 2009;43:417-422.
  21. Apha A. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th ed. Washington D.C.: American Public Health Association; 1998.
  22. Baloch MI, Akunna JC, Kierans M, Collier PJ. Structural analysis of anaerobic granules in a phase separated reactor by electron microscopy. Bioresour. Technol. 2008;99:922-929.


Supported by : Catholic University of Korea, Hanseo University