The basic kinetic expressions developed in non-aerated biofilms (denitrification and RBCs) were verified on granular floating media in aerated filters. The limiting parameters of biofilms were verified on a small scale lab unit, using wastewater and media from full scale. It could be shown that the observed relationships corresponded to theoretical expectations and half-order kinetics as well as the significant constants were established. Maximum surface removal rates were measured as 1.7 g N-NH4/m2 d for nitrification, and the most limiting parameter was a half-order oxygen concentration close to saturation.
Similar kinetics as on small scale were observed on a full-scale prototype of a new floating aerated biofilter, which can be used for both nitrification and denitrification, as well as complete nitrogen removal from settled wastewater in one reactor. The mixed biofilm nitrified 15 % less than pure tertiary treatment, and 20 % performance was lost between lab and full scale, due mainly to aeration limitations. Also, 35 % lower denitrification rates were observed between ethanol and sewage as carbon source, but addition of ethanol raised the full-scale performance to nitrate removal rates of 1,4 g N-NO3/m2 d.
After pilot testing and full-scale demonstration, the process was implemented on several treatment plants, one of which was located in Denmark, to achieve nitrogen residuals below 8 mg TN/1. This plant uses 8 filters of 63 m2 to treat 12 000 m3/d, and the biological reactor occupies a surface similar to the existing conventional primary settler. The results of the first few months of operation are given: as long as the ratio between biodegradable COD and total nitrogen at the filter inlet is above 5, nitrogen removal of 80 % is achieved.