In order to quantify the proliferation of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) gels in a matrix and optimize the performance of mass transfer, activated carbon (AC) and CaCO3 were selected as adding materials in this experiment. For the performance of mass transfer, the optimal conditions were analyzed using response surface method (RSM) considering the inter-correlated effects of the amount of AC and CaCO3. For RSM, 13 trials resulted in a partial cubic polynomial equation, which best predicted the amount of residual debris after homogenization. The results of the study show that the effective diffusion coefficient test device can analysis the diffusion rate nitrogen, nitrite and nitrate within the PVA gels quantitatively; adding appropriate amounts of AC and CaCO3 in the biological active filter can improve the performance of mass transfer effectively; the maximum effective diffusion coefficient of nitrogen and nitrite and nitrate in the packing were 1.3637 × 10−9 and 1.0850 × 10−9 and 1.0199 × 10−9 m2/s, respectively, at optimal addition amount.

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