Shanghai Key Lab for Urban Ecological Processes and Eco-Restoration, School of Ecological and Environmental Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, PR China; Shanghai Institute of Pollution Control and Ecological Security, 1515 North Zhongshan Rd. (No. 2), Shanghai 200092, PR China. Electronic address: [Email]
Petrochemical wastewaters treatment represents a serious challenge due to the high toxicity and complex chemical components. In this study, the biodegradability, mineralization behaviors and methane productivity of eight different types of petrochemical wastewaters were evaluated in series of semi-continuous bioreactors. Methane production strongly depended on the characteristics of wastewaters and chemical constituents. The highest methane yield of 305.9 ± 2.7 mL/g-COD was achieved by purified terephthalic acid wastewater, followed by ethylene glycol, polyester, etc. Comparatively, one-step-SCN- wastewater produced the lowest methane yield (4.7 ± 0.7 mL/g-COD) owing to high toxicity and low biodegradability. Modified Gompertz model confirmed that purified terephthalic acid, ethylene glycol and polyester wastewaters had a short lag-phase of 1.2, 1.7 and 0.2 days, respectively. Nonetheless, the formation of by-products such as proteins, polysaccharides and ammonia nitrogen throughout anaerobic digestion reflected the high activity of anaerobic microorganisms, confirming the technical feasibility of anaerobic biotechnology in treating petrochemical wastewaters.