Treatment of packaging board whitewater in anaerobic/aerobic biokidney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Whitewater from production of packaging board was treated in a combined anaerobic/aerobic biokidney, both in laboratory scale and pilot plant experiments. Both the laboratory experiments and the pilot plant trial demonstrate that a combined anaerobic/aerobic process is suitable for treating whitewater from a packaging mill. It is also possible to operate the process at the prevailing whitewater temperature. In the laboratory under mesophilic conditions the maximal organic load was 12 kg COD/m(3)*d on the anaerobic reactor and 6.7 kg COD/m(3)*d on the aerobic reactor. This gave a hydraulic retention time, HRT, in the anaerobic reactor of 10 hours and 2 hours in the aerobic reactor. The reduction of COD was between 85 and 90% after the first stage and the total reduction was between 88 to 93%. Under thermophilic conditions in the laboratory the organic load was slightly lower than 9.6 COD/m(3)*d and between 10 and 16 COD/m(3)*d, respectively. The HRT was 16.5 and 3.4 hours and the removal was around 75% after the co anaerobic reactor and 87% after the total process. For the pilot plant experiment at a mill the HRT in the anaerobic step varied between 3 and 17 hours and the corresponding organic load between 4 and 44 kg COD/m(3)*d. The HRT in the aerobic step varied between 1 and 6 hours and the organic load between 1.5 and 26 kg COD/m(3)*d. The removal of soluble organic matter was 78% in the anaerobic step and 86% after the combined treatment at the lowest loading level. The removal efficiency at the highest loading level was about 65% in the anaerobic step and 77% after the aerobic step. In the pilot plant trial the removal efficiency was not markedly affected by the variations in whitewater composition that were caused b y change of production. The variations, however, made the manual control of the nutrient dosage inadequate co and resulted in large variations in effluent nutrient concentration. This demonstrates the need for an automatic nutrient dosage system. The first step towards such a system was to evaluate two different on-line instruments. Both had severe stability problems, which made them unsuitable as parts in a system for control of the nutrient dosage.


  • Tomas Alexandersson
  • A Malmqvist
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering


  • pulp and paper, reuse, closed system, whitewater, biological treatment, control, nutrients
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-298
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number10-11
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch

Related research output

Tomas Alexandersson & Å Malmqvist, 2005, [Host publication title missing]. IWA Publishing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding

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