Activated carbon fiber felt and polymer fiber as biofilm carrier in a modified University of Cape Town process for sewage treatment
Biofilms on fiber-based carriers have attracted much concern in wastewater treatment processes recently. In this study: (1) a novel sandwich structure fiber-based biofilm carrier was produced, which consisted of an inner core composed of polyacrylonitrile-based activated carbon fiber felt (PAN-ACFF) and an outer coat made of polyester reticular cloth with polypropylene fiber loops; (2) the novel carrier was filled in a step-feeding pilot-scale modified University of Cape Town process (MUCT) for sewage treatment; the MUCT contained a series of pre-anoxic/anaerobic/anoxic-1/anoxic-2/oxic tanks, wherein nitrification liquor was recycled to the anoxic-2 tank and an extra liquor return from the anoxic-1 to the pre-anoxic tank was set up; and (3) the removal efficiencies of chemical oxygen demand (COD), total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) were continuously tested for two periods as operational parameters alternated. The optimum values were collected in Period II, when the influent loads were 2,100.6 ± 120.3 gCOD/(d m3), 205.5 ± 20.4 gTN/(d m3), 39.9 ± 3.9 gTP/(d m3), the removal percentages were 93.1 ± 1.1% of COD, 39.4 ± 3.5% of TN, and 84.6 ± 3.4% of TP. For COD, NH4+-N, and TP, the specific removal loads of filler were 291.5 ± 18.2, 22.9 ± 3.1, 4.8 ± 0.5 (g d)/kg.