Efficient and automated start-up of a pilot reactor for nitritation of reject water: From batch granulation to high rate continuous operation

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Abstract

An automated sequencing batch reactor operation based on online measurement of the ammonium concentration was investigated as a tool for improving the start-up of a nitrifying granular airlift reactor. The effectiveness of this start-up procedure was verified with the characteristics of the developed granular sludge but also the improvement of the start-up was confirmed when comparing with the results achieved with two continuous-mode start-up strategies. Once a stable granular biomass was obtained, the reactor started to operate in continuous mode during more than 100days, maintaining the characteristics of the granular biomass and achieving a nitrogen loading rate of 1.75gNL-1d-1. The intermittent recirculation of small flocs of nitrifying biomass was explored as an alternative to increase the biomass concentration in the reactor and consequently, to increase the treated loading rate. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-325
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume226
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2013

Keywords

  • Airlift reactor
  • Biofilm
  • Granular sludge
  • Online TAN measurement
  • Partial nitrification

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