The competition between methane-producing archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria is an important topic in anaerobic wastewater treatment. In this study, an Up-flow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket Reactor (UASB) was operated for 330 days to evaluate the treatment performance of sulfate-rich wastewater. The effects of competition change between methane production and sulfate reduction on the organic removal efficiency, methane production, and electrons allocation were investigated. Synthetic wastewater was composed of ethanol and acetate with a chemical oxygen demand (COD)/SO 4 2− of 1.0. As a result, the COD removal efficiency achieved in long-term treatment was higher than 90%. During the initial stage, methane production was the dominant reaction. Sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) could only partially oxidize ethanol to acetate, and methane-producing archaea (MPA) utilized acetate for methane production. Methane production declined gradually over the long-term operation, whereas the sulfate-reducing efficiency increased. However, UASB performed well throughout the experiment because there was no significant inhibition. After the complete reduction of the sulfate, MPA converted the remaining COD into methane.
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