Kinetic modeling of carbon and nutrients removal in an integrated rotating biological contactor-activated sludge system

  • A. Akhbari
  • A. A. L. ZinatizadehEmail author
  • P. Mohammadi
  • Y. Mansouri
  • M. Irandoust
  • M. H. Isa
Original Paper


In this study, kinetics of biological carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous removal from a synthetic wastewater in an integrated rotating biological contactor-activated sludge system was investigated. The experimental data obtained from varying four significant independent factors viz., hydraulic retention time, chemical oxygen demand for nitrogen to phosphorus ratio, internal recirculation from aerobic to anoxic zone and disks rotating speed were used for the process kinetic modeling. In order to obtain the bioprocess kinetic coefficients, Monod, first-order and Stover–Kincannon models were employed. As a result, Monod and Stover–Kincannon models were found to be the appropriate models to describe the bioprocess in the rotating biological contactor-activated sludge system as the determination coefficient for the first-order model obtained less than 0.79. According to the Monod model, growth yield, microbial decay rate, maximum specific biomass growth rate, and half-velocity constant coefficients were found to be 0.712 g VSS/g COD, 0.008/d, 5.54/d and 55 mg COD/L, respectively. From Stover–Kincannon model, the maximum total substrate removal rate constant and half-velocity constant were determined as 15.2, 10.98, 12.05 g/L d and 14.78, 7.11, 6.97 mg/L for chemical oxygen demand, nitrogen and phosphorus removal, respectively. The kinetic parameters determined in this study can be used to improve the design and operation of the biological contactor-activated sludge system in full scale.


Nutrient removal Monod model First order model Stover–Kincannon model 

List of symbols


Rotating biological contactor


Activated sludge


Total Kjeldahl nitrogen, mg/L


Mixed liquor suspended solids, mg/L


Chemical oxygen demand, mg/L


Total nitrogen, mg/L


Volatile suspended solid, mg/L


Solid retention time, d−1


Organic loading rate, g/L d


Growth yield coefficient, g VSS/g COD


Microbial decay rate, d−1


Maximum specific biomass growth rate, g VSS produced/g VSS present d


Half-velocity constant, mg/m3


Maximum substrate utilization rate constant, g/L d


Rate of change in the substrate concentration due to utilization, g/m3 d


Rate of change in the biomass concentration, g/m3 d


Maximum specific substrate utilization rate, g COD/g VSS prod. d


Biomass concentration, g/m3


Influent substrate concentration, g/m3


Substrate concentration, g/m3


Specific biomass growth rate, g VSS produced/g VSS present d


First-order nitrogen removal rate constant, d−1


Influent flow rates, m3/d


Effluent flow rates, m3/d


Waste sludge flow rates, m3/d


Effluent biomass concentration, mg/L


Effluent biomass concentration, mg/L


Volume of the reactor, m3


Specific substrate utilization rate, g COD/g VSS d


Substrate removal rate, g/L d



The support provided by Kermanshah Water and Wastewater Company is greatly appreciated. The authors acknowledge the access to laboratory equipment provided by the Water and Power Industry Institute for Applied and Scientific Higher Education (Mojtama-e-gharb), Kermanshah which has resulted in this paper. The authors also wish to thank Mrs S. Kiani for her assistance (Technical Assistant of Water and Wastewater Laboratory).


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Copyright information

© CEERS, IAU 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Akhbari
    • 1
  • A. A. L. Zinatizadeh
    • 2
    Email author
  • P. Mohammadi
    • 3
  • Y. Mansouri
    • 4
  • M. Irandoust
    • 5
  • M. H. Isa
    • 6
  1. 1.Sama Technical and Vocational Training CollegeIslamic Azad University, Kermanshah BranchKermanshahIran
  2. 2.Water and Wastewater Research Center (WWRC), Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of ChemistryRazi UniversityKermanshahIran
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Health Engineering-Kermanshah, Health Research Center (KHRC)Kermanshah University of Medical ScienceKermanshahIran
  4. 4.Young Researchers Club, Ilam BranchIslamic Azad UniversityIlamIran
  5. 5.Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of ChemistryRazi UniversityKermanshahIran
  6. 6.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity Teknologi PetronasPerakMalaysia

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