A laboratory study has successfully demonstrated that a nitrogen deficient thermomechanical pulping wastewater can be effectively treated in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) operated under conditions of biological nitrogen fixation (the N-ViroTech® process). In comparison to continuous stirred tank reactor activated sludge (CSTR-AS) configurations operated under either nitrogen fixing or nitrogen supplemented conditions, slightly lower removals of dissolved organic material were observed in the SBR. However, this was largely offset by significantly better suspended solids removal in the SBR, which contributes to the overall COD discharge. The settleability and dewaterability of sludge produced by the SBR was significantly better than that obtained from the nitrogen fixing CSTR-AS reactors, and comparable to that of a nitrogen supplemented system. Consistently low total and dissolved nitrogen discharges from the N-ViroTech® systems demonstrated the advantage of this system over ones requiring nitrogen supplementation. The feast–famine regime of an SBR-type configuration has significant potential for the application of this technology in the treatment of nitrogen deficient waste streams, particularly those in which conventional single-stage systems may be susceptible to sludge bulking problems.

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