Denitrification in a full-scale installation and a pilot plant for moving-bed biological treatment (MBBT) was subject to detailed investigation. Two different types of carriers were used in conventional activated sludge reactors: foam cubes and plastic tubes (Kaldnes®).

Both investigated carriers showed the same behavior with regard to denitrification capacity, temperature dependency and maximum COD and nitrate turnover. In contrast to the plastic tubes (Kaldnes®), the sponge cubes stored remarkable amounts of substrate. The maximum denitrification rate with acetate as a substrate was 420 gNm-3d-1 at 10°C and 730 gNm-3d-1 at 20°C. An average denitrification rate of 240 gNm-3d-1 (10°C) was achieved with wastewater. A maximum of 37% of the COD in the influent was denitrified with a volumetric loading rate in the anoxic zone of 2.2 kgCODm-3d-1.

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