ORGANIC MATTER AND NITROGEN REMOVAL CAPACITY OF A NEW PACKING FOR TRICKLING FILTERS
The robust organic matter removal in a new packing is intended as pretreatment for wetland polishing of wastewater. The packing was tested with very high organic loads, ranging from 19.41 to 69.45 kg COD/m3d, and hydraulic loads between 2.55 and 3.82 m3 /m2d. The effects of flow and concentration of whey on the removal of organic matter were studied using a factorial experimental design, and results confirmed that both variables and the interaction of them affected the removal efficiency. This result confirms that the organic load defines the behavior of a trickling filter. Total nitrogen levels were reduced by an average of 33%, and ammonium nitrogen was reduced by 57% through cellular assimilation. The kinetic constant was 0.3059 kg COD/m2d with 26 m2/m3 of specific area, in contrast to 0.0693 kg COD/m2d obtained in previous work, where a similar packing design was used with 49 m2/m3 of specific area. These results suggest that at moderate organic loads the higher available volume for air flow increases the reaction rate. The kinetic model also showed a lower constant value with less specific area, indicating that the removal capacity of very high organic loads was reduced.
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