By introducing a mixed population of nitrifiers encapsulated in gel lens beads a more selective nitrification process was found in treatment of settled sewage in lab scale at a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of about 30 to 60 minutes. The reaction rates for oxidation of soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD) were found to vary between 25 to 150 mg/L·h while nitrification takes place around 50 mg nitrogen per hour and litre reaction volume. However, based on this SCOD removal in the nitrification step, a consequent post-denitrification process without nitrate recycle and dosage of external carbon sources has been proven to reach substantial nitrate elimination of up to 20 mg nitrogen per litre at COD/N-ratios of approx. 6 in settled sewage. At such COD/N-ratios, suitable nitrogen elimination seems to be possible, because the bioflocs of settled sewage, produced so far by SCOD oxidation and entrapment of particulate COD, are passing through the nitrification process having a substantial contribution to the denitrification rate additionally to the remaining SCOD.

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