The performance of a bench scale upflow sludge bed (USB) denitrifying reactor was evaluated in order to integrate it into a C and N removal system for Sanitary Landfill Leachate. The raw leachate used presented COD and NH4-N average values of 30000 mg/l and 1000 mg/l, respectively. The complete system comprises in addition an UASB reactor and a nitrifying RBC. A portion of the aerobic reactor effluent was recycled into the denitrification stage and some raw leachate was also added as an additional C source. In order to obtain operating parameters the denitrifying reactor was operated alone. Sludge from an aerobic reactor (RBC) treating raw leachate was used as inoculum. Shortly after the start up, good granulation of the sludge bed was observed. Using raw leachate and UASB outlet as carbon sources with COD/NO3-N ratios of 4 and 12, respectively, denitrification efficiencies of about 90% were reached. A sludge yield of 0.16 gVSS/gCODremoved was obtained operating with raw leachate. For the anoxic reactor operating in the complete system, denitrification efficiencies of 90% were also achieved. A nitrogen gas recycle was a successful way to avoid frequently observed sludge bed rising problems.

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