High-rate biological wastewater treatment processes for carbon recovery are able to improve the energy balance and carbon footprint of water resource recovery facilities. Combination of a high-rate moving bed biofilm reactor (HR-MBBR) with a rapid flotation (HR-DAF), as a replacement for the ‘A stage’ of the A-B process, can achieve this objective. The main goal of this study was to maximize the capture of biodegradable particulate matter from an HR-MBBR effluent by an HR-DAF. A pilot-scale HR-DAF process was operated downstream of an HR-MBBR treating screened municipal wastewater. The particulate biodegradable matter recovery was evaluated by determining the total suspended solids (TSS) removal efficiency. TSS recovery in experiments without chemicals at low surface loading rates (<15 m/h) and high recycle ratio (>25%) was 94 ± 1%. By using a tannin-based polymer, the solids capture efficiency of the HR-DAF was slightly improved with TSS recovery reaching 96 ± 1% at a high SLR (at least 22 m/h) and low recycle ratio (14%). The anaerobic biodegradability of the tannin tested was determined to be 17%. The HR-DAF process downstream of an HR-MBBR gave a very good particulate matter recovery that offers a promising alternative to the A-B process for carbon recovery.

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