Up-flow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) reactors are popular tools in wastewater treatment systems due to the ability to work with high feed rates and wastes with high concentration of organic contaminants. While full-scale industrial applications of UASB reactors are developed and described in the available literature, laboratory-scale designs utilized for treatability testing are not well described. The majority of published studies do not describe the laboratory UASB construction details or do use reactors that already had developed a trophic network in microbial consortia under laboratory environment and therefore are more stable. The absence of defined guidelines for geometry design, selection of materials, construction, operation rules, and, especially, the start-up conditions, significantly hamper researchers who desire to conduct treatability testing using UASB reactors in laboratory scale. In this article, we compiled and analyzed the information available in the refereed literature concerning UASB reactors used in laboratory environment, where information on geometry and/or operational conditions were provided in detail. We utilized the information available in the literature and the experience gained in our laboratory (Sustainable Waste to Bioproducts Engineering Center) to suggest a unified operation flowchart and for design, construction, operation, and monitoring for a laboratory-scale UASB reactors.
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