Nitrification kinetics as a function of mixed liquor temperature were compared for a conventional fully-aerobic activated sludge system and a system accomplishing biological nutrient removal (BNR) by incorporation of anaerobic and anoxic zones using the UCT configuration. The systems treated the same municipal wastewater and both had flow rates of 151 L/day. The nitrification rates were greater in the nutrient removal system compared to the conventional system as long as the aerobic MCRT was above the minimum for complete nitrification. It was concluded that BNR systems require less aerobic volume than fully aerobic systems to accomplish nitrification because the aerobic biomass concentration is greater in the BNR systems, particularly if the UCT configuration is used. Nonetheless, BNR systems require more total volume to accomplish complete nitrification than fully aerobic systems, and the volume differential increases as mixed liquor temperatures decrease.

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