Skip to main content

High Rate Nutrient Removal in Fluidized Bed Biofilm Reactors

The full text article is not available for purchase.

The publisher only permits individual articles to be downloaded by subscribers.

or click here to sign up for a free trial


The fluidized bed biofilm reactor (FBBR) has been used for anaerobic digestion, carbon oxidation, nitrification, and denitrification of industrial and municipal wastewaters. Most recently, it has been used at full-scale for municipal tertiary denitrification. In fact, the FBBR has the highest biomass density and smallest footprint of any tertiary treatment available for biological nitrate removal.

The FBBR uses small media particles that are suspended in vertically flowing wastewater, so that the media becomes fluidized and the bed expands. The particles are in continuous relative motion but are not transported by the wastewater, which passes through the bed at a relatively high rate (30 to 50 m/h−1). Because the bed is expanded, it does not trap solids and therefore never requires backwashing. Ideally, the wastewater passes through in plug-flow mode with minimal backmixing, although most systems have some degree of recycle to maintain vertical velocity.

A key feature of the FBBR is its high biomass density (up to 40,000 mg/L MLVSS) when compared with typical suspended growth systems. This high biomass concentration results in a volumetric efficiency that is typically 10 times higher than activated sludge systems. This unique characteristic makes the FBBR a cost effective solution, especially where space is limited.

Keywords: Anaerobic Digestion; Denitrification; Expanded Bed; Fixed Film; Fluidised Bed; Fluidized Bed; Nitrification

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access.
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more