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Anoxic-aerobic fixed biofilm reactor under counter-diffusion of acceptors and electron donors for nitrogen compounds removal

Grant number: 17/10049-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2017
Effective date (End): August 01, 2020
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering - Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment
Principal Investigator:Eugenio Foresti
Grantee:Bruno Garcia Silva
Host Institution: Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/06246-7 - Biorefinery concept applied to biological wastewater treatment plants: environmental pollution control coupled with material and energy recovery, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):18/17064-5 - Fixed biofilm in polyurethane foam subjected to counter-diffusion for simultaneous nitrification and denitrification, BE.EP.DR


Anaerobic digestion has been extensive used to wastewater treatment due to its low operating costs and the possibility of biogas generation. However, anaerobic reactors to not completely removing organic matter, in addition nutrients, such as nitrogen, remain unchanged. Conventional nitrogen removal requires new treatment units and often the addition of an external carbon source as electron donor for heterotrophic denitrification. Simultaneous Nitrification and Desnitrification (SND) process allows the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite and nitrate and their reduction to nitrogen gas in a single treatment unit. However, high nitrogen removal efficiencies are difficult to achieve under low electron donor availability even when stoichiometric ratios are satisfied. The present project proposes a fixed bed reactor configuration in which aeration is performed internally to the biofilm. This new configuration is based on the possibility of inverse the order of the microbial communities usually found in the NDS biofilm. This inversion may provide less competition by electron donors between aerobic bacteria and heterotrophic denitrifiers. In addition, the exclusively anoxic bulk liquid may allow the removal of sulfide from anaerobic reactors via autotrophic denitrification. This new reactor design may allow liquid and gaseous effluents produced in anaerobic reactors reach adequate standards of release into the environment in a single post-treatment unit. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
SILVA, BRUNO GARCIA; SANTOS OLIVEIRA, JEAN MAIKON; ZAMARIOLLI DAMIANOVIC, MARCIA HELENA RISSATO; FORESTI, EUGENIO. Foam aerated biofilm reactor: a novel counter-diffusional process for COD and nitrogen removal from low COD/N effluents. ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY, . (17/10049-8)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
SILVA, Bruno Garcia. Aerated fixed biofilm reactor subjected to counter-diffusion of acceptors and electron donors to remove nitrogenous compounds. 2020. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC/SBD) São Carlos.

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