A four stage pilot plant of step-feed biological nutrient removal (BNR) was employed to investigate reactor performance and process stability. The results obtained showed that step-feed BNR is efficient and cost-effective for nitrogen and carbonaceous removal from municipal wastewater. The total average removal efficiencies of COD, NH3-N, TN and TP could reach as high as 89.5, 97.8, 73 and 75%, respectively, with 50% of return activated sludge (RAS), 9 h of hydraulic retention time (HRT) and 20 d of sludge retention time (SRT). Step-feed BNR is an alternative and effective technology of nutrient removal for municipal wastewater treatment.

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