The second generation of our originally proposed sewage treatment system, which consists of a UASB reactor as an anaerobic pre-treatment unit and curtain-type DHS (downflow hanging sponge) reactor as an aerobic post-treatment unit, was installed at a municipal sewage treatment site. A 550-day continuous experiment demonstrated that the whole combined system successfully achieved 94–97% of unfiltered-BOD removal, 81–84% of unfiltered-COD removal, and 63–79% of SS removal, at an overall HRT of 8 h (6 h for UASB and 2 h for DHS units). The combined system performed an excellent organic removal as well as a fairly efficient nitrification, i.e. 52–61% of ammonia-nitrogen removal. Our proposed combined system possesses prominent advantages: requiring neither external aeration input nor excess sludge withdrawal.

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