Organic matter removal from saline agricultural drainage wastewater using a moving bed biofilm reactor

Mohamed Ateia, Mahmoud Nasr, Chihiro Yoshimura, Manabu Fujii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the effect of salinity on the removal of organics and ammonium from agricultural drainage wastewater (ADW) using moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBRs). Under the typical salinity level of ADW (total dissolved solids (TDS) concentration up to 2.5 g·L-1), microorganisms were acclimated for 40 days on plastic carriers and a stable slime layer of attached biofilm was formed. Next, six batch mode MBBRs were set up and run under different salinity conditions (0.2-20 g-TDS·L-1). The removal efficiency of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and ammonium-nitrogen (NH4-N) in 6 hours decreased from 98 and 68% to 64 and 21% with increasing salt concentrations from 2.5 to 20 g-TDS·L-1, respectively. In addition, at decreasing salt levels of 0.2 g-TDS·L-1, both COD removal and nitrification were slightly lowered. Kinetic analysis indicated that the first-order reaction rate constant (k1) and specific substrate utilization rate (U) with respect to the COD removal remained relatively constant (10.9-11.0 d-1 and 13.1-16.1 g-COD-removed.g-biomass-1·d-1, respectively) at the salinity range of 2.5-5.0 g-TDS·L-1. In this study, the treated wastewater met the standard criteria of organic concentration for reuse in agricultural purposes, and the system performance remained relatively constant at the salinity range of typical ADW.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1327-1333
Number of pages7
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • Acclimation
  • Agricultural drainage water
  • MBBR
  • Organic matter removal
  • Salinity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Medicine(all)

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