We are witnessing an enormous growth in biological nitrogen removal from wastewater. It presents specific challenges beyond traditional COD (carbon) removal. A possibility for optimised process design is the use of biomass-supporting media. In this paper, attached growth processes (AGP) are evaluated using dynamic simulations. The advantages of these systems that were qualitatively described elsewhere, are validated quantitatively based on a simulation benchmark for activated sludge treatment systems. This simulation benchmark is extended with a biofilm model that allows for fast and accurate simulation of the conversion of different substrates in a biofilm. The economic feasibility of this system is evaluated using the data generated with the benchmark simulations. Capital savings due to volume reduction and reduced sludge production are weighed out against increased aeration costs. In this evaluation, effluent quality is integrated as well.

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Author notes

Currently: EPAS NV, Venecoweg 19, B-9810 Nazareth, Belgium (E-mail: h.vanhooren@epas.be)