This paper presents one performance of SBBRs to treat wastewater containing the priority organic pollutant para-chlorophenol (p-CP). Batch kinetic studies showed that the biological degradation of p-CP can be described with the model of the substrate inhibition analogue Haldane. The following parameters were found: Ks = 4.4 mg L−1, Ki = 60 mg L−1, rmax = 3.24 h−1. With this information the operation mode of a sequencing batch biofilm reactor was optimized when shock loading appeared. During a short fill of 12 minutes approximately 30 % of the influent amount was eliminated of the bulk. It is assumed that other effects than biodegradation were responsible for this, i.e. biosorption. During the reaction phase the turbulence had an important influence to the elimination rate. At a bulk fluid concentration of more than 60 mg L−1 the elimination process was controlled by microbial kinetics. But with decreasing concentration the mass transfer became more important. The elimination rate could be increased from 7.3 mg L h−1 to 26.3 mg L h−1 with a 5-fold higher air flow rate.

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