A pilot-plant study was conducted to evaluate the performance of a moving-bed biofilm reactor process using PVA-gel beads as a biocarrier. Real primary-settled wastewater was fed to the pre-denitrification system and removals of nitrogenous and organic contaminants were evaluated over a 1-year period. The results demonstrated that at a total nitrogen (TN) loading of 18 mg/L.h, a TN removal efficiency in keeping with and even exceeding the theoretical maximum efficiency based on the level of internal recycle, was possible and a nitrification rate of 15 mg/L.h was sustained with a HRT of only 2.5 h at 15 °C. Furthermore, soluble COD and BOD5 in the effluent of the pilot plant were reduced to levels well below most regulatory discharge limits. In addition, the possibility of using this biocarrier in a system, including the elimination of waste organic sludge, was discussed.

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