Bio-carriers are an important component of integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS) processes. In this study, the capability of cigarette filter rods (CFRs) as a bio-carrier in IFAS processes was evaluated. Two similar laboratory-scale IFAS systems were operated over a 4-month period using Kaldnes-K3 and CFRs as IFAS media. The process performance was studied by using chemical oxygen demand (COD). The organic loading rate was in the range 0.5–2.8 kgCOD/(m3·d). The COD average removal efficiencies were 89.3 and 93.9% for Kaldnes-K3 (reactor A) and cigarette filters (reactor B), respectively. The results demonstrate that the performance of the IFAS reactor containing CFRs was comparable to the reactor using Kaldnes. The CFRs, which have a high porous surface area and entrapment ability for microbial cells, could be successfully used in biofilm reactors as a bio-carrier.

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