Two pilot-scale activated sludge reactors, one VIP (named after Virginia Initiative Plant) biological nutrient removal (BNR) process and one conventional, fully aerobic process, were operated over a range of solids retention times (SRT's) and under the same conditions so that growth yields and specific decay rates could be evaluated and compared. True growth yields (Y's) for the BNR and the conventional processes were equal and were 0.41 gVSS/gCOD. The specific decay rate, b, for the BNR process, 0.063 d, was lower than in the fully aerobic process, 0.110 d-1, indicating that decay occurs at a much lower rate in the anoxic and anaerobic zones of the BNR process.

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