Biological phosphorus and nitrogen removal in biofilm processes have a potential advantage compared to activated sludge processes, because of less vulnerability with respect to sludge loss and because biofilm processes, in general, are more compact with a smaller footprint. Experiments have been carried out in a moving bed biofilm reactor operated as a sequencing batch reactor (SBR), with simultaneous nitrification, phosphorus uptake and denitrification in the aerobic phase. In order to achieve good phosphorus and nitrogen removal, the length of the anaerobic period should be tuned to achieve near complete removal of easily biodegradable COD in the anaerobic period, and the length of the aerobic period should be long enough for complete nitrification. The total COD-loading rate must be at the same time be kept high enough to achieve a net growth of biomass in the reactor.

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