The aim of the present work was to evaluate the performance of a semi-pilot scale BAF in order to obtain a highly polished effluent in terms of removal of organic matter, suspended solids and ammonia and to observe the influence of temperature, pH and nitrite accumulation on the nitrification process. The ammonia removal efficiency during summer and winter and the nitrite accumulation in presence of free ammonia were observed. The biomass density was measured at different filter bed heights and the sludge production from the effluent of the backwashing water was evaluated. The results obtained were used to calibrate a mathematical model for the prediction of the ammonia removal profile in the filter bed and of biomass thickness.

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