A lab-scale biofilter was run continuously for 1½ years for combined denitrification and phosphorus removal. lternation between anaerobic and anoxic (nitrate) conditions was used to obtain an enriched culture of denitrifying, phosphate accumulating organisms. Batch experiments were performed to test the importance of diffusion and zonation in the biofilm. Half- and zero-order anaerobic phosphate release and anoxic phosphate uptake rates were verified, which was taken as an indication of a zonated biofilm.
To investigate the practical applicability of the process, the development of a computer model is necessary due to the high complexity of the process. AQUASIM is suitable for this purpose. The model can provide insight into what goes on inside the biofilm and act as a tool when predicting required tank sizes, optimal phase lengths and biofilm thickness etc. for a large-scale system. For control of the process, on-line measurements and computer control of the system are essential.