Nitrification is a key step for reliable biological nitrogen removal. In order to enhance nitrification in the activated sludge (AS) process, membrane-attached biofilm (MAB) was incorporated in a conventional activated sludge tank. Simultaneous organic carbon removal and nitrification of the MAB incorporated activated sludge (AS+MAB) process was investigated with continuous wastewater treatment. The effluent TOC concentration of AS and the AS+MAB processes were about 6.3 mg/L and 7.9 mg/L, respectively. The TOC removal efficiency of both AS and AS+MAB were above 95% during the wastewater treatment, indicating excellent organic carbon removal performance in both processes. Little nitrification occurred in the AS process. On the contrary, successful nitrification was obtained with the AS+MAB process with nitrification efficiency of about 90%. The volumetric and surface nitrification rates were about 0.14 g/Ld and 6.5 g/m2d, respectively. The results clearly demonstrated that nitrification in the conventional AS process was boosted by MAB. Furthermore, the microfaunal population in the AS+MAB process was different from that in the AS process. The high concentration of rotifers in the AS+MAB process was expected to decrease the generation of excess sludge in the process.

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