This paper studies the effect of organic load rate (OLR) and nutrient ratio on operation stability of the moving bed bioreactor (MBBR) for kraft mill wastewater treatment, analyzing the incidence of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) production. The MBBR operating strategy was to increase OLR from 0.25 ± 0.05 to 2.41 ± 0.19 kg COD m−3 d−1 between phases I and IV. The BOD5:N:P ratio (100:5:1 and 100:1:0.2) was evaluated as an operation strategy for phases IV to V. A stable MBBR operation was found when the OLR was increased during 225 days in five phases. The maximum absolute fluorescence against the proportion of cells accumulating PHA was obtained for an OLR of 2.41 ± 0.19 kg COD m−3d−1 and a BOD5:N:P relationship of 100:1:0.2. The increase of PHA biosynthesis is due to the increased OLR and is not attributable to the increased cell concentration, which is maintained constant in stationary status during bioreactor biosynthesis.

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