Simultaneous removal of COD and ammonium from landfill leachate using an anaerobic-aerobic moving-bed biofilm reactor system

Sheng Chen, Dezhi Sun, Jong-Shik Chung
Waste Management 2008, 28 (2): 339-46
The performance of a moving-bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) system with an anaerobic-aerobic arrangement was investigated to treat landfill leachate for simultaneous removal of COD and ammonium. It was found that the anaerobic MBBR played a major role in COD removal due to methanogenesis, and the aerobic MBBR acted as COD-polishing and ammonium removal step. The contribution of the anaerobic MBBR to total COD removal efficiency reached 91% at an organic loading rate (OLR) of 4.08 kgCOD/(m3d), and gradually decreased to 86% when feed OLR was increased to 15.70 kgCOD/(m3d). Because of the complementary function of the aerobic reactor, the total COD removal efficiency of the system had a slight decrease from 94% to 92% even though the feed OLR was increased from 4.08 to 15.70 kgCOD/(m3d). Hydraulic retention time (HRT) had a significant effect on NH+4-N removal; more than 97% of the total NH+4-N removal efficiency could be achieved when the HRT of the aerobic MBBR was more than 1.25 days. The anaerobic-aerobic system had a strong tolerance to shock loading. A decrease in COD removal efficiency of only 7% was observed when the OLR was increased by four times and shock duration was 24 h, and the system could recover the original removal efficiency in 3 days. The average sludge yield of the anaerobic reactor was estimated to be 0.0538 gVSS/gCOD rem.

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