Highly Effective Treatment of Petrochemical Wastewater by a Super-sized Industrial Scale Plant with Expanded Granular Sludge Bed Bioreactor and Aerobic Activated Sludge
Journal article, 2019

One industrial scale plant has been constructed for annual treatment of 657,000m⁠3 real petrochemical wastewater of 4649±651mg/l COD and more than 50mg/l petrochemicals. The plant system is divided into four parts, and the treatment process mainly functions in a 2200m⁠3 anaerobic expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB) bioreactor and a 10,000m⁠3 aerobic activated sludge (AS) bioreactor with the hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 62.8h and 133.3h, respectively. The plant has been successfully operated for more than 450days, and the overall COD and petrochemical removal efficiencies of the plant are 85.6±2.5% and 81.5±4.8%, respectively. The removal efficiency of the aerobic AS bioreactor was higher than that of the anaerobic EGSB bioreactor, and most COD and petrochemicals were removed in the aerobic AS bioreactor. Further microbial diversity analysis revealed that the dominant microbes in the EGSB and AS bioreactors were assigned to Proteobacteria and Firmicutes and 4 dominant OTUs related with COD or petrochemicals removal were enriched in the bioreactors, showing that the microbial communities had been adapted to the petrochemical wastewater treatment. Based on the results, the newly built industrial plant exhibited good performance in petrochemical wastewater treatment and enriched microbes towards petrochemical wastewater treatment during operation. This strategy also has potential applications for other industrial wastewater treatment in the future.


Aerobic activated sludge

Industrial scale system

Petrochemical wastewater

Microbial communities

COD removal


Wenning Mai

Zhengzhou University

Jiawei Liang

Zhengzhou University

Yongjun Wei

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Systems and Synthetic Biology

Jinfeng Tang

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Energy and Material, Nuclear Chemistry

Chemical Engineering Journal

0300-9467 (ISSN)

Vol. 360 15-23

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Water Engineering

Other Environmental Engineering

Water Treatment



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