Pairing of Anaerobic and Aerobic Treatment of Petroleum Wastewater

Zachary Fica, Utah State University


The objective of this project was to treat petroleum refinery wastewater using a combination of anaerobic and aerobic processes, namely an Up-flow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) reactor paired with a Rotation Algae Biofilm Reactor (RABR), respectively, to produce a treated effluent. The treatment method developed needed to produce a cost-effective and efficient way to decrease nitrogen, phosphorous, total suspended solids (TSS), and COD concentrations to below State of Utah limitations. It was demonstrated that RABR treatment was capable of reducing effluent concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus, and TSS to State of Utah limitations. RABR treatment did not significantly reduce COD from the wastewater. The COD reduction requirement, however, was met through anaerobic digestion of the wastewater. Therefore, our system proved effectual at the treatment of the wastewater and met all design criteria.