A new wastewater treatment technology, called BioCAST, has been designed and developed for high rate and simultaneous removal of organic carbonaceous compounds as well as nitrogen and phosphorus, along with reduced sludge generation. The treatment system has two interlinked reactors containing four independent zones with different environmental conditions of aerobic, microaerophilic, anoxic and anaerobic for the biological treatment of wastewater, as well as two clarification zones and a filtration unit for solid–liquid separation. The treatment system contains suspended as well as fixed-film microorganisms. The performance evaluation of the BioCAST system was carried out at organic loading rates of 0.95 to 1.86 kg/m3 d, and nitrogen and phosphorus loading rates of 0.02 to 0.08 kg/m3 d and 0.014 to 0.02 kg/m3 d, respectively. The results demonstrated high removal efficiencies of carbon and nitrogen throughout the operation period, reaching 98.9 and 98.3%, respectively. Phosphorus removal efficiency was lower than 50% during the first 160 days of operation but it increased with the increase of nitrogen loading rate above 0.05 kg/m3 day and concomitant reduction of C/N ratio below 15. Phosphorus removal efficiency reached 94.1%, producing an effluent concentration of 1.4 mg/L after 225 days of operation. The overall biomass yield based on the consumed COD was 3.7%.
Keywords: biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal, fixed-film/suspended growth wastewater treatment, multi-zone bioreactors