A novel aerobic-anoxic biological filter for nitrogen removal from UASB effluent using biogas compounds as electron donors for denitrification
Keywords:nitrification, denitrification, nitrogen, methane, biological filter, UASB
The performance of a new trickling filter (TF) configuration composed of an upper compartment for nitrification and a lower compartment for denitrification of effluent from a UASB reactor treating domestic sewage was evaluated. The TF was packed with new plastic material characterized by its durability and high percentage of void spaces. The feasibility of using the reduced compounds present in the biogas produced by a UASB reactor as electron donor for denitrification was also evaluated. Efficient nitrification and denitrification was achieved for the mean hydraulic (5.6 m3 m-2 d-1), organic (0.26 kg COD m-3 d-1) and ammonia-N (0.08 kg m-3 d-1) loading rates applied, resulting in ammonia-N removal ranging from 60 to 74%. The final effluent presented ammonia-N lower than 13 mg L-1. Despite the presence of dissolved oxygen (DO) in the denitrification compartment, its performance was considered quite satisfactory and final nitrate concentrations were lower than 10 mg L-1. The results indicate that methane was the main electron donor used for denitrification. Additionally, denitrification can probably be improved by avoiding high DO concentration in the denitrification compartment and by enhancing biogas transfer in the anoxic zone.
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