Small-scale domestic wastewater treatment using an alternating pumped sequencing batch biofilm reactor system

Michael Rodgers, Xinmin Zhan, Edmond O'Reilly
Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering 2006, 28 (5): 323-30
An alternating pumped sequencing batch biofilm reactor (APSBBR) system was developed to treat small-scale domestic wastewater. This laboratory system had two reactor tanks, Reactor 1 and Reactor 2, with two identical plastic biofilm modules in each reactor. Reactor 1 of the APSBBR had five operational phases--fill, anoxic, aerobic, settle and draw. In the aerobic phase, the wastewater was circulated between the two reactor tanks with centrifugal pumps and aeration was mainly achieved through oxygen absorption by microorganisms in the biofilms when they were exposed to the air. This paper details the performance of the APSBBR system in treating synthetic domestic wastewater over 18 months. The effluent from the APSBBR system satisfied the European Wastewater Treatment Directive requirements, with respect to COD, ammonium-nitrogen and suspended solids. The biofilm growth in the two reactor tanks was different due to the difference in substrate loadings and growth conditions.


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