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Enhancing nitrogen removal from low carbon to nitrogen ratio wastewater by using a novel sequencing batch biofilm reactor

Zou, Jinte, Li, Jun, Ni, Yongjiong, Wei, Su
Journal of environmental sciences (China) 2016 v.50 pp. 32-37
aeration, biofilm, carbon, carbon nitrogen ratio, chemical oxygen demand, denitrification, nitrogen, nitrogen content, wastewater
Removing nitrogen from wastewater with low chemical oxygen demand/total nitrogen (COD/TN) ratio is a difficult task due to the insufficient carbon source available for denitrification. Therefore, in the present work, a novel sequencing batch biofilm reactor (NSBBR) was developed to enhance the nitrogen removal from wastewater with low COD/TN ratio. The NSBBR was divided into two units separated by a vertical clapboard. Alternate feeding and aeration was performed in the two units, which created an anoxic unit with rich substrate content and an aeration unit deficient in substrate simultaneously. Therefore, the utilization of the influent carbon source for denitrification was increased, leading to higher TN removal compared to conventional SBBR (CSBBR) operation. The results show that the CSBBR removed up to 76.8%, 44.5% and 10.4% of TN, respectively, at three tested COD/TN ratios (9.0, 4.8 and 2.5). In contrast, the TN removal of the NSBBR could reach 81.9%, 60.5% and 26.6%, respectively, at the corresponding COD/TN ratios. Therefore, better TN removal performance could be achieved in the NSBBR, especially at low COD/TN ratios (4.8 and 2.5). Furthermore, it is easy to upgrade a CSBBR into an NSBBR in practice.