ABR- Chemical Process

Once the construction process is complete, a chemical process must be initiated to finalize the anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR).  The chemical process, as described above, is the driving force to the success of the ABR.  Each reactor requires a different start-up process based on multiple (Barber, 1999)

To start the chemical process it is necessary to determine which microbes will be used.  To determine the appropriate microbe, one needs to examine the type of waste being processed by the ABR.  When the proper microbe is identified, it is inserted into the ABR where it has time to grow.  The ABR should also have a slow flow rate to encourage the growth of the microbes.  Also, it is essential to have a low initial loading rate, allowing the slower growing microbes to have adequate time to mature (Barber,1999).

One of the most important considerations in the start-up process is the initial loading rate.  It was found that as the initial loading rate increased so did the start-up time.  This correlation can be seen above in Figure 1.  For this reason it is ideal to start with a low initial loading rate, slowly increasing it over a period of three months until the desired loading rate is reached, with the most effective initial loading rate being 1.2 kg COD/m3 d. (Barber, 1999).  By slowly increasing the loading rate, the microbes are also able to adapt to the changing waste composition to ensure a more effective ABR.