Nitrogen removal from a piggery wastewater was investigated in a post-denitrification modified Lüdzack Ettinger (PDMLE) process. Overall hydraulic retention time (HRT) of the PDMLE, consisting of contact/separator (C/S), nitrification, denitrification and re-aerobic bioreactor was 10 days. 60% of the influent SCOD was separated in the C/S by contacting the return sludge with the synthetic wastewater, however, only 10% of the influent SCOD was separated from the piggery wastewater. Biosorption capacities of the synthetic wastewater and piggery wastewater were 800 and 150 mg/g-MLSS, respectively. In spite of the high organic and nitrogen load, nitrification efficiency was above 95%, and nitrification rate was about 180 mg-NH4+-N/L·day. The removed ΔCOD/Δnitrate ratios in the denitrification tank were 4.0 and 11.5 g-SCOD/g-nitrate, while denitrification rates were 8.4 and 2.6 mg-nitrate/day for synthetic and piggery wastewater, respectively. In the proposed PDMLE process, both bio-sorbed and bypassed organic matter could be successfully used for nitrate reduction as carbon sources and the final TN removal efficiency was as high as 95%.

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