The performance of an ultra-compact biofilm reactor (UCBR) treating domestic wastewater (DWW) collected from a local water reclamation plant; and gradually shifting to a mono-type carbon source synthetic wastewater (SWW) combined with DDW (CWW) and finally SWW; was investigated in this study. The total COD concentrations of influent DWW and CWW/SWW were 413.6 ± 80.8 mg/L and 454.9 ± 51.3 mg/L, respectively. The UCBR was able to achieve average total COD removal efficiencies of 70 ± 10% and 80 ± 4% for DWW and SWW respectively. The total COD concentrations of the effluent of DWW and CWW/SWW were 122.5 ± 44.4 mg/L and 89.7 ± 10.3 mg/L, respectively. These observations suggested that heterotrophs in the UCBR system were able to better assimilate and remove carbon of mono-type SWW compared to diverse carbon sources such as DWW; although the influent soluble COD concentrations of the SWW were higher than those of the DWW. However, the effluent NH4+-N concentrations for both types of wastewater were rather similar, <3.0 mg/L; although the influent NH4+-N concentrations of the DWW were 1.5 times those of the SWW.
Keywords: airlift, biofilm, domestic, synthetic, wastewater