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Process and kinetic analysis of nitrification in coupled trickling filter/activated sludge processes

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A model for nitrification in a coupled trickling filter/ activated sludge system is presented. Nitrification will occur in the trickling filter component of the system when the organic loading to the trickling filter is about 1 kg BOD5/m3· d (60 lb BOD5/1000 ft3 · day); the degree of nitrification will increase as the organic loading decreases below this value. Nitrification in the upstream trickling filter has two impacts on the downstream suspended growth unit. First, partial removal of ammonia by the upstream trickling filter reduces the ammonia-nitrogen loading on the downstream suspended growth unit. Second, the seeding effect of nitrifiers grown on the upstream trickling filter which slough off and pass into the downstream suspended growth unit allows the suspended growth unit to nitrify at solids residence times that would otherwise preclude nitrification. A mathematical model for the suspended growth units that incorporates this seeding effect is developed and presented. Data from the City of Garland, Texas, Duck Creek and Rowlett Creek Wastewater Treatment Plants are presented that demonstrate this mechanism and verify the predictive capability of the proposed model.

Keywords: Biological process; coupled trickling filter/activated sludge; nitrification; single stage

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 1993

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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