Combined denitrification and phosphorus removal in a biofilter

Christina Maria Falkentoft, Poul Harremoes, Hans Mosbæk, P. A. Wilderer

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review


    A lab-scale biofilter was run continuously for 11/2 years for combined denitrification and phosphorus removal. Alternation between anaerobic and anoxic (nitrate) conditions was used to obtain an enriched culture of denitrifying, phosphate accumulating organisms. Batch experiments were performed to test the importance of diffusion and zonation in the biofilm. Half- and zero-order anaerobic phosphate release and anoxic phosphate uptake rates were verified, which was taken as an indication of a zonated biofilm. To investigate the practical applicability of the process, the development of a computer model is necessary due to the high complexity of the process. AQUASIM is suitable for this purpose. The model can provide insight into what goes on inside the biofilm and act as a tool when predicting required tank sizes, optimal phase lengths and biofilm thickness etc. for a large-scale system. For control of the process, on-line measurements and computer control of the system are essential.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalWater Science and Technology
    Issue number4-5
    Pages (from-to)493-501
    Publication statusPublished - 2000
    EventIAWQ Conference on Biofilm Systems - New York, United States
    Duration: 17 Oct 199920 Oct 1999


    ConferenceIAWQ Conference on Biofilm Systems
    CountryUnited States
    CityNew York
    Internet address


    • phosphorus removal
    • biofilm
    • diffusion limitation
    • denitrification
    • modelling

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