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Open Access Limitations Encountered for the Treatment of a Low C:N Waste Using a Modified Membrane-Aerated Biofilm Reactor

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A modified membrane-aerated biofilm reactor (mMABR) that combined oxygen permeable membranes and inert attachment media to support both nitrification and denitrification was used to treat a carbon-limited (COD:N  =  1.8) and ammonium-rich (NH4 +  =  650 g-N/m3) space habitation waste stream. An eight-fold increase in intramembrane air pressure did not affect process performance; however, for an air pressure of 11 kPa (gauge), lower and upper hydraulic loading limits for the mMABR were identified at 30 g-N/m3·d and 123 g-N/m3·d, respectively. Oxygen limitation occurred at the highest loading rate and alkalinity limitation occurred at the lowest loading rate. Partial nitrification was noted at both limitations. Additionally, increased recirculation ratios were shown to decrease denitrification efficiency. Mean carbon and nitrogen removal rates were as high as 75.3 g-C/m3·d (0.26 g-C/m2·d) and 63.8 g-N/m3·d (0.22 g-N/m2·d), respectively. The mMABR achieved maximal nitrification and denitrification performance given the stoichiometric nature of the waste.

Keywords: hybrid reactor; low C/N waste; membrane-aerated biofilm reactor; partial nitrification; simultaneous nitrification/denitrification

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2011

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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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