All of our representatives are degreed individuals
from diverse backgrounds with hand-on operation
experience of biological treatment processes.

Our Treatability Lab is one of our many tools used to predict
and troubleshoot problems for multiple industrial waste streams.

We don’t just sell products, but turn key Product Programs
that link our products to regular laboratory testing and technical
assistance together to keep biological treatment systems fully optimized.

Tannins in Anaerobic Treament

Tannins in Anaerobic TreamentTannins can be a challenge to treat in waste water anaerobically. They are one of nature’s natural chelating (metal grabbing) substances, and tend to try to bind to a number of other things in a waste stream, such as protein in breweries or ferric ions, for example. Some of the common operational problems we have seen include:

  • Heavy foaming
  • “Goo” around reactor solids
  • Making Metals non-bioavailable to bacteria
  • Solids Loss
  • High effluent VFA

To the right is a picture of granules from a paper mill with high tannins in the influent.  This “goo” causes problems with degassing, reactor plugging, solids bridging, and other hydraulic and gas flow issues.  The tannins react with various things in the water, such as divalent cations, ferric, and grab a lot of metals.  This last part steals micronutrients from the bacteria, and can cause micronutrient deficiencies.  They also can discolor the water (black), and create some COD and VFA false high readings (feel free to contact RBL to discusses if you are seeing this effect and why it occurs).

Many breweries are turning to a Tannin/Perlite filtering method, and similar problems can occur as well as an additional issue of the tannin grabbing protein and creating heavy foam on the top of the reactor.

Best Practices 

Due to the high chelation effect, it is recommended that a bioavailable micronutrient concentrate be added to keep micronutrient health at optimum.  River Bend Labs also has a number of recommended adjustments to a system; like how to feed iron to minimize the “goo” issue, and monitoring practices to track better control the tannin foam effects that can be discussed with a RBL representative for specific situations.


Case Study Spotlight

Refinery Case Study
A northern California refinery was on the road to slowing down increased production of refined oil products due to the build up of TKN laden wastewater.
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