Biological treatment of TMAH (tetra-methyl ammonium hydroxide) in a full-scale TFT-LCD wastewater treatment plant

Tai Ho Hu, Liang Ming Whang, Pao Wen Grace Liu, Yu Ching Hung, Hung Wei Chen, Li Bin Lin, Chia Fu Chen, Sheng Kun Chen, Shu Fu Hsu, Wason Shen, Ryan Fu, Romel Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


This study evaluated biological treatment of TMAH in a full-scale methanogenic up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) followed by an aerobic bioreactor. In general, the UASB was able to perform a satisfactory TMAH degradation efficiency, but the effluent COD of the aerobic bioreactor seemed to increase with an increased TMAH in the influent wastewater. The batch test results confirmed that the UASB sludge under methanogenic conditions would be favored over the aerobic ones for TMAH treatment due to its superb ability of handling high strength of TMAH-containing wastewaters. Based on batch experiments, inhibitory chemicals present in TFT-LCD wastewater like surfactants and sulfate should be avoided to secure a stable methanogenic TMAH degradation. Finally, molecular monitoring of Methanomethylovorans hollandica and Methanosarcina mazei in the full-scale plant, the dominant methanogens in the UASB responsible for TMAH degradation, may be beneficial for a stable TMAH treatment performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-310
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource technology
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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