A lab-scale UCT-type membrane bio-reactor (MBR) was operated for biological nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) removal simultaneously. In order to examine biological nutrient removal (BNR) characteristics of MBR, the lab unit was fed with a synthetic strong and weak wastewater. With strong wastewater, a simultaneous removal of N and P was achieved while application of weak wastewater resulted in a decrease of both N and P removal. Recycled nitrate due to the limited organic in weak wastewater operation probably caused a nitrate inhibition in anaerobic zone. In step feed modification with weak wastewater, both N and P removal capability recovered in the system, indicating that the allocation of COD for denitrification at anoxic zone was a key to increase the biological P removal. In addition, the analysis on the specific P uptake rate in anoxic zone demonstrated that denitrifying phosphorus accumulating organism (dPAO) played an important role to remove up to 40% of P along with N. The sludge production characteristics of UCT-type MBR were similar to ordinary activated sludge with BNR capability.

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