A brief introduction of the long history of biofilm-based wastewater treatment is given together with basics of biofilm behavior and mechanisms in removal and transformation of pollutants. Moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) principles and applications of such are presented. Advantages and limitations of such solutions are given together with evaluations of emerging MBBR applications. The basis of biofilm processes and biofilm layer classification based on dissolved oxygen gradient is discussed. Organisms grow at the protected surface of the biocarrier where oxygen gradients create aerobic, anoxic, and anaerobic layers allowing simultaneous nitrification and denitrification in one MBBR (nitrification, nitritation, autotrophic, and heterotrophic denitrification). Combination of MBBR with activated sludge, continuous flow intermittent cleaning (CFIC®), and integration with anaerobic digestion increases the potential usage of MBBR for enhanced efficiency and energy recovery and is partly discussed as case studies (COD, ammonium, and solid removal). Biofilm thickness and scaling control can be crucial for MBBR performance. The type of carriers, filling degree, and operational conditions play a major role for process performance; hence, the effect of those parameters is presented.
Part of the book: Bacterial Biofilms