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Comparison of laboratory-scale thermophilic biofilm and activated sludge processes integrated with a mesophilic activated sludge process

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-214
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


A combined thermophilic-mesophilic wastewater treatment was studied using a laboratory-scale thermophilic activated sludge process (ASP) followed by mesophilic ASP or a thermophilic suspended carrier biofilm process (SCBP) followed by mesophilic ASP, both systems treating diluted molasses (dilution factor 1:500 corresponding GF/A-filtered COD (CODfilt) of 1900±190 mgl-1). With hydraulic retention times (HRTs) of 12-18 h the thermophilic ASP and thermophilic SCBP removed 60±13% and 62±7% of CODfilt, respectively, with HRT of 8 h the removals were 48±1% and 69±4%. The sludge volume index (SVI) was notably lower in the thermophilic SCBP (measured from suspended sludge) than in the thermophilic ASP. Under the lowest HRT the mesophilic ASP gave better performance (as SVI, CODfilt, and CODtot removals) after the thermophilic SCBP than after the thermophilic ASP. Measured sludge yields were low (less than 0.1 kg suspended solids (SS) kg CODfilt removed -1) in all processes. Both thermophilic treatments removed 80-85% of soluble COD (CODsol) whereas suspended COD (CODsusp) and colloidal COD (CODcol) were increased. Both mesophilic post-treatments removed all CODcol and most of the CODsusp from the thermophilic effluents. In conclusion, combined thermophilic-mesophilic treatment appeared to be easily operable and produced high effluent quality.


  • Activated sludge process, Combined treatment, Mesophilic, Suspended carrier biofilm process, Thermophilic