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Water Res. 2004 Mar;38(6):1633-41.

Macroscale and microscale analyses of nitrification and denitrification in biofilms attached on membrane aerated biofilm reactors.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering, Hachinohe Institute of Technology, Hachinohe, Aomori 031-8501, Japan. qsatoh@hi-tech.ac.jp

Abstract

A membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR), in which O(2) was supplied from the bottom of the biofilm and NH(4)(+) and organic carbon were supplied from the biofilm surface, was operated at different organic carbon loading rates and intra-membrane air pressures to investigate the occurrence of simultaneous chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal, nitrification and denitrification. The spatial distribution of nitrification and denitrification zones in the biofilms was measured with microelectrodes for O(2), NH(4)(+), NO(2)(-), NO(3)(-) and pH. When the MABR was operated at approximately 1.0 g-COD/m(2)/day of COD loading rate, simultaneous COD removal, nitrification and denitrification could be achieved. The COD loading rates and the intra-membrane air pressures applied in this study had no effect on the start-up and the maximum rates of NH(4)(+) oxidation in the MABRs. Microelectrode measurements showed that O(2) was supplied from the bottom of the MABR biofilm and penetrated the whole biofilm. Because the biofilm thickness increased during the operations, an anoxic layer developed in the upper parts of the mature biofilms while an oxic layer was restricted to the deeper parts of the biofilms. The development of the anoxic zones in the biofilms coincided with increase in the denitrification rates. Nitrification occurred in the zones from membrane surface to a point of ca. 60microm. Denitrification mainly occurred just above the nitrification zones. The COD loading rates and the intra-membrane air pressures applied in this study had no effect on location of the nitrification and denitrification zones.

PMID:
15016541
DOI:
10.1016/j.watres.2003.12.020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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