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Promoting the degradation of organic micropollutants in tertiary moving bed biofilm reactors by controlling growth and redox conditions

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  • Ellen Edefell, Lunds Universitet, Sweden Water Research AB
  • ,
  • Per Falås, Lunds Universitet
  • ,
  • Elena Torresi, Veolia Water Technologies AB-AnoxKaldnes, Danmark
  • Marinette Hagman, Lund University, Sverige
  • Michael Cimbritz, Lunds Universitet, Danmark
  • Kai Bester
  • Magnus Christensson, Veolia Water Technologies AB-AnoxKaldnes, Danmark
novel process configuration was designed to increase biofilm growth in tertiary moving bed biofilm reactors
(MBBRs) by providing additional substrate from primary treated wastewater in a sidestream reactor under
different redox conditions in order to improve micropollutant removal in MBBRs with low substrate availability.
This novel recirculating MBBR was operated on pilot scale for 13 months, and a systematic increase was seen in
the biomass concentration and the micropollutant degradation rates, compared to a tertiary MBBR without
additional substrate. The degradation rates per unit carrier surface area increased in the order of ten times, and
for certain micropollutants, such as atenolol, metoprolol, trimethoprim and roxithromycin, the degradation rates
increased 20–60 times. Aerobic conditions were critical for maintaining high micropollutant degradation rates.
With innovative MBBR configurations it may be possible to improve the biological degradation of organic
micropollutants in wastewater. It is suggested that degradation rates be normalized to the carrier surface area, in
favor of the biomass concentration, as this reflects the diffusion limitations of oxygen, and will facilitate the
comparison of different biofilm systems.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer125535
TidsskriftJournal of Hazardous Materials
Vol/bind414
ISSN0304-3894
DOI
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2021

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