The influence of dissolved oxygen concentration in nitrification kinetics was studied in a new biofilm reactor, the circulating bed reactor (CBR). The study was carried out partly at laboratory scale with synthetic water containing inorganic carbon and nitrogen compounds, and partly at pilot scale for secondary and tertiary nitrification of municipal wastewater.
The experimental results showed that either the ammonia or the oxygen concentration could be limiting for the nitrification rate. The transition from ammonia to oxygen limiting conditions occurred for an oxygen to ammonia concentration ratio of about 1.5 - 2 gO2/gN-NH4+ for both laboratory- and pilot-scale reactors. The nitrification kinetics of the laboratory-scale reactor was close to a half order function of the oxygen concentration, when oxygen was the rate limiting substrate.