The performance of a continuous inflow cyclic biological reactor (CBR) containing moving media was investigated for the degradation of high concentrations of furfural. The effects of hydraulic retention time (HRT) and furfural initial concentrations (loading rate), as main operating parameters, on the bioreactor performance were studied. The results indicated that the CBR could remove over 98% of furfural and 71% of its chemical oxygen demand (COD) at inlet furfural concentrations up to 1,200 mg L−1 (2.38 g L−1 d−1), a 6-h cycle time and HRT of 12.1 h. The removal efficiency decreased slightly from 98 to 94% when HRT decreased from 12.1 to 10.5 h. The average removal efficiency of furfural and COD during the 345-day operational period under steady-state conditions were 97.7% and 82.1%, respectively. The efficiency also increased approximately 17.2% after addition of synthetic polyurethane cubes as moving media at a filling ratio of 10%.

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