A novel moving bed biofilm reactor has been developed, where the biofilm grows on small, free floating plastic elements with a large surface area and a density slightly less than 1.0 g/cm3. The specific biofilm surface area can be regulated as required, up to a maximum of approximately 400 m2/m3. The ability to remove organic matter from concentrated industrial effluents was tested in an aerobic pilot-plant with two moving bed biofilm reactors in series and a specific biofilm surface area of 276 m2/m3. Treating dairy wastewater, the pilot-plant showed 85% and 60% COD removal at volumetric organic loading rates of 500 g COD/m3h and 900 g COD/m3h respectively. Based on the test results, the moving bed biofilm reactors should be very suitable for treatment of food industry effluents.

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