7) Testing MBBR technology for treating industrial wastewaters

Riga Technical University piloting in Project BEST

Final report on the pilot study

Effectiveness of moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) technology for industrial wastewater treatment and impact of sodium chloride on the biomass in MBBR, LINK TO THE REPORT


MBBR reactor pilot

Food – including milk, fish, and meat- processing industries generate high-strength wastewaters with highly variable salt concentration resulting from the disinfection of equipment. Shock loads of high salinity may disturb biological treatment processes due to osmotic pressure shock and cell lysis and thus compromise effluent water quality. Thus, there is a need to know if the biological process can withstand short-term discard of high salts solution. The pilot experiments aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) technology for industrial wastewater treatment and to test the effect of short-term discard of high concentration of the sodium chloride on the biomass in MBBR.

The work was carried out with a pilot scale equipment to test different filter technologies (e.g. granular filter and disk filter), to find out efficient removal methods for harmful substances. The pilot scale equipment was tested in different WWTPs in Estonia, Latvia and Poland.
Data on the wastewater contents and quality changes was collected by sampling the inlet and outlet of the wastewater and content of sludge in WWTPs receiving different industrial effluents in Poland, Estonia and Latvia.

The study showed the harmful effect of the shock load of NaCl on biomass in MBBR without pre-treatment leading to nitrification and denitrification bacteria inhibition because sludge microfauna had osmotic shock and dewatering after NaCl addition. To prevent these events in the municipal WWTP, the most valuable indicator of the NaCl inhibitor influence is electrical conductivity in the effluent, as it increases with high concentration of NaCl.

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