Environmental technology

Roughness and temperature effects on the filter media of a trickling filter for nitrification.

PMID 24701955


The performance of trickling filters using two types of plastic media with the same material, the same shape and different roughness was evaluated during a temperature-decreasing period to understand the roughness and temperature effects on the filter media. Real restaurant wastewater was used for the experiments. The chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal and nitrification performance of plastic media with a rough surface (LT-15) was superior to that with a smooth surface (KT-15). Because the biomass of microorganisms attached on the LT-15 was twice that attached on the KT-15, the larger biomass attached on the LT-15 was thought to be responsible for the higher performance. During the operation, the COD loading and water temperature varied in the range from 0.37 to 1.9 kg m(-3) d(-1) and 17.0--10.0 degrees C, respectively. However, the COD removal performance was not dependent on the COD loading or water temperature. On the contrary, the COD loading and the water temperature influenced the nitrification performance. Although a nitrification efficiency of 100% was recorded at a COD loading of 0.37 kg m(-3) d(-1), it deteriorated to 17-28% at higher COD loading. Moreover, a decline in the water temperature decreased the nitrification performance. The temperature-activity coefficient for nitrification was estimated to be 1.096. Based on this value, it was inferred that the COD loading should be set at less than 0.20 kg m(-3) d(-1) for the complete nitrification of the restaurant wastewater in winter, when the water temperature usually drops to around 10 degrees C.