In this study, an anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR), combined with a post denitrification process, was applied to treat primary sludge from a municipal wastewater treatment plant and wastewater with a high concentration of nitrate. The production of volatile fatty acids (VFAs) was maximized with a short hydraulic retention time in the acid fermentation of the ABR process, and then the produced VFAs were supplied as an external carbon source for the post denitrification process. The laboratory scale experiment was operated for 160 days to evaluate the VFAs’ production rate, sludge reduction in the ABR type-acid fermentation process, and the specific denitrification rate of the post denitrification process. As results, the overall removal rate of total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD), total suspended solids (TSS), and total nitrogen (TN) were found to be 97%, 92%, 73%, respectively, when considering the influent into ABR type-acid fermentation and effluent from post denitrification. We observed the specific VFAs production rate of 0.074 gVFAs/gVSS/day for the ABR type-acid fermentation, and an average specific denitrification rate of 0.166 gNO3−
-N/gVSS/day for the post denitrification. Consequently, we observed that a high production of VFAs from a primary sludge, using application of the ABR type acid fermentation process and the produced VFAs were then successfully utilized as an external carbon source for the post denitrification process, with a high removal rate of nitrogen.
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