Anaerobic reactor biowaste effluent was treated with biofilm and activated sludge sequencing batch reactors to compare the performance of both systems. The treatment targets were organic carbon removal and nitrification. The pilot plant was operated in two phases. During the first phase, it was operated like a Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) with the Natrix media, with a specific surface area of 210 m2/m3. The MBBR was operated under Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) modality with three 8-hour cycles per day over 70 days. During the second phase of the experiment, the pilot plant was operated over 79 days as a SBR. In both phases the influent was fed to the reactor at a flow rate corresponding to a Hydraulic Retention Time (HRT) of 4 days. Both systems presented a good carbon removal for this specific wastewater. The Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) total removal was 53% for MBBR and 55% for SBR. MBBR offered a higher dissolved COD removal (40%) than SBR (30%). The limited COD removal achieved is in agreement with the high COD to BOD5 ratio (1/3) of the influent wastewater. In both systems a complete nitrification was obtained. The different efficiencies in both systems are related to the different biomass concentrations.
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