An upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor was successfully applied to continuous degradation of ferric ethylene diamine tetraacetate (Fe-EDTA) as a typical xenobiotic substance contained in photo-processing wastewater. The sludge in the UASB reactor had an abundance of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), which had been anaerobically cultivated in a sulfate-rich culture medium including Fe-EDTA and yeast-extract as the carbon sources. Since the prominent reductions of Fe-EDTA and sulfate ion were observed, the contribution of SRB to Fe-EDTA degradation in the UASB reactor was confirmed. The aggregated sludge in the UASB reactor became gradually large reaching steady state with an equivalent diameter of 60-90 μm after 124 days operation. An increase of the amount of yeast extract addition to feed solution improved the Fe-EDTA removal efficiency up to 90%. Moreover, the combination of ozone treatment with SRB treatment further improved removal efficiency of total organic carbon (TOC) in an actual photo-processing wastewater composed of fixing and developing wastes.
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