The performance of a bench-scale apparatus composed of two sequential batch reactors (SBR), forming an anaerobic/aerobic treatment system, was evaluated as to its potential use for biological removal of organic matter and nutrients. Both the reactors with 12.5 L of useful volume each were operated for the batch cycles of 12 hours receiving 8.0 L of substrate in each cycle. The first reactor (SBRAn) fed with synthetic substrate simulating domestic sewage was meant to remove the largest fraction of carbonic matter and to promote the substrate ammonification. The second reactor (SBRAe) was operated under alternating aerobic and anoxic conditions to establish conditions for achieving nitrification; denitrification and biological phosphate removal in the same batch cycle. Sodium acetate was used as an external carbon source for phosphate removal. Processes monitoring included the analyses of: COD, NTK-N, NH4+-N, NO2-N, NO3-N, PO43--P, alkalinity, volatile acids, pH, redox potential, total, fixed and volatile solids. Under the operating conditions imposed, the system exhibited high performance in removing organic matter (COD), nitrogen and phosphorus, producing effluent with COD, NTK-N and PO43--P concentrations lower than 50.0 mg/L, 4.0 mg/L and 1.0 mg/L, respectively.

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