In this study, an aerobic submerged fixed bed reactor's (ASFBR) population dynamics has been studied in order to know its behavior in different conditions of organic load and oxygen concentration. The reactor was fed with synthetic wastewater. Tested variables and applied values were: 1) Variations in organic load (OL): 16–65 g COD/m2/d. 2) Variations in influent's COD concentration: 40–400 g COD/m3. 3) Variations in specific air flow (SAF): 15–127 m3air/kgCOD. Biofilm samples were taken at the top of the reactor. This study showed important variations in the composition and abundance of the microfauna depending on the experimental conditions. Variations in influent concentration had no significant effect on the abundance of the studied groups. However, differences depending on organic load and aeration conditions were observed. Organic load influenced every group studied but with different results. Sessile cilliates, metazoa and flagellates were abundant in low load, while crawling ones were in high load. Aeration intensity influenced most of the groups except Peranema and Vorticella spp. Despite obtaining good yields, not many protozoa, typical of biofilms under conventional processes, were found. Thus, a great variety of microorganisms, such as many classes of sessile and crawling cilliates, were not found. Important nitrifying activity was obtained at 20 cm depth in a bed. From this point, the heterotrophic and nitrifying populations exist but are inactive.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.