At Himmerfjärden wastewater treatment plant, a fluidised bed reactor for nitrogen removal has been operated since 1997. Despite its small footprint, the system enables a far-reaching nitrogen removal. The current nitrate reduction in the reactor is 95%. The reduction of total nitrogen at the wastewater treatment plant is 80-90% at normal operation. The concentration of nitrate in the effluent is easily controlled by changing the dose of carbon. As part of a series of full-scale experiments, the plant has, for the last two years, been operated without denitrification for a couple of months during spring/summer, in order to benefit a favourable N/P-ratio in the recipient and to counteract the growth of nitrogen fixing blue-green algae. When resuming the dosage of carbon, full denitrification was re-established in about two weeks. Important factors to take into consideration when operating the fluidised bed reactor are the abrasive characteristics of the carrier material (sand), the increased concentration of suspended solids in the effluent, and the importance of a suitable N/P-ratio in the influent, as lack of phosphorus might cause an uncontrolled microbiological growth.

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