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ROTATING BIOLOGICAL CONTACTORRotating biological contactor or RBC is a biological treatment process used in the treatment of wastewater following primary

treatment. The primary treatment process removes the grit and other solids through a screening process followed by a period of settlement. The RBC process involves allowing the wastewater to come in contact with a biological medium in order to remove pollutants in the wastewater before discharge of the treated wastewater to the environment, usually a body of water (river, lake or ocean). A rotating biological contactor is a type of secondary treatment process. It consists of a series of closely spaced, parallel discs mounted on a rotating shaft which is supported just above the surface of the waste water. Microorganisms grow on the surface of the discs where biological degradation of the wastewater pollutants takes place.

OPERATION
Rotating biological contactor contain a number of
rotating discs on a shaft submerged in a tank partially or completely filled with liquid. large number of closely spaced discs or inside corrugated packing units that slowly rotate in a trough, partially immersed in liquid and partially in the air space above the reactor (Figure 9). drains from the plates or packing and oxygen can diffuse in the remaining thin film of liquid and

Biofilm grows in immobilized form on the surface of a

During the passage in the air or gas space, the liquid

ultimately reach the biomass itself, and simultaneously CO2 can escape.

Then the surface rotates further back in the liquid

entraining air in the liquid, effectively aerating the fluid as well. mass transfer of nutrients and products to and from the film. and detach.

The rotation and resulting mixing lead to very efficient As the film grows thicker, will eventually inactivate The released biomass can be recovered from the
bottom of the reactor where it accumulates.

The discs or packing are rotated at only a few rpm, and


this limits the shear but is enough to control the film thickness to below 1-2 mm. reactor configuration, the reactor can be compartmented with baffles to separate groups of discs, yielding a cascade of stirred tanks. concentrations and high conversion rates in a large part of the equipment.

As obviously some axial mixing will occur in this

This allows for complete conversion and still high

This is especially useful for dilute streams that are well described by a first-order conversion rate and hence benefit from a plug flow pattern, such as in dilute waste stream treatment. Advantages

offered by rotating biological contactors: 1. Short contact periods are required because of the large active surface 2. They are capable of handling a wide range of flows 3. Sloughed biomass generally has good settling characteristics and can easily be separated from waste stream 4. Operating costs are low because little skill is required in plant operation 5. Short retention time

6. Low power requirements 7. Elimination of the channelling to which conventional percolators are susceptible 8. Low sludge production and excellent process control Disadvantages of Rotating Biological Contactors 1. Requirement for covering RBC units in northern climates to protect against freezing 2. Shaft bearings and mechanical drive units require frequent maintenance

A typical complete trickling filter system for treating wastewaters. ]

Water treatment
[age 1: A schematic cross-section of the contact face of the bed media in a trickling filter.
Biofilter was first introduced in England in 1893 as a trickling filter for wastewater treatment and has since been successfully used for the treatment of different types of water. Biological treatment has been used in Europe to filter surface water for drinking purposes since the early 1900s and is now receiving more interest worldwide. Biofiltration is also common in wastewater treatment, aquaculture and greywater recycling as a way to minimize water replacement while increasing water quality. Biofiltration process A biofilter is a bed of media on which microorganisms attach and grow to form a biological layer called biofilm. Biofiltration is thus usually referred to as a fixed film process. Generally, the biofilm is formed by a community of different microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, yeast, etc.), macro-organisms (protozoa, worms, insects larvae, etc.) and extracellular polymeric [5] substances (EPS) (Flemming and Wingender, 2010). The aspect of the biofilm is usually slimy and muddy. Water to be treated can be applied intermittently or continuously over the media, upflow or downflow. Typically, a biofilter has two or three phases, depending on the feeding strategy (percolating or submerged biofilter): 1.a solid phase (media); 2.a liquid phase (water); 3.a gaseous phase (air). Organic matter and other water components diffuse into the biofilm where the treatment occurs, mostly by biodegradation. Biofiltration processes are usually aerobic, which means that microorganisms require oxygen for their metabolism. Oxygen can be supplied to the biofilm, either concurrently or counter currently with water flow. Aeration occurs passively by the natural flow of air through the process (three phases biofilter) or by forced air supplied by blowers. Microorganisms' activity is a key-factor of the process performance. The main influencing factors are the water composition, the biofilter hydraulic loading, the type of media, the feeding strategy (percolation or submerged media), the age of the biofilm, temperature, aeration, etc. Types of filtering media Originally, biofilter was developed using rock or slag as filter media, but different types of material are used today. These materials are categorized as inorganic media (sand, gravel, geotextile, different shapes of plastic media, glass beads, etc.) and organic media (peat, wood chips, coco shell fragments, compost, etc.) Advantages
[4]

Although biological filters have simple superficial structures, their internal hydrodynamics [6] and the microorganisms' biology and ecology are complex and variable. These characteristics confer robustness to the process. In other words, the process has the capacity to maintain its performance or rapidly return to initial levels following a period of no flow, of intense use, toxic shocks, media backwash (high rate biofiltration processes), etc. The structure of the biofilm protects microorganisms from difficult environmental conditions and retains the biomass inside the process, even when conditions are not optimal for its growth. Biofiltration processes offer the following advantages: (Rittmann et al., 1988): Because microorganisms are retained within the biofilm, biofiltration allows the development of microorganisms with relativel y low specific growth rates; Biofilters are less [7] subject to variable or intermittent loadings and to hydraulic shock; Operational costs are usually lower than for activated sludge; Final treatment result is less influenced by biomass separation since the biomass concentration at the effluent is much lower than for suspended biomass processes; Attached biomass becomes more specialized (higher concentration of [ relevant organisms) at a given point in the process train because there is no biomass return.

Advantages offered by rotating biological contactors: 1. Short contact periods are required because of the large active surface 2. They are capable of handling a wide range of flows 3. Sloughed biomass generally has good settling characteristics and can easily be separated from waste stream 4. Operating costs are low because little skill is required in plant operation 5. Short retention time 6. Low power requirements

7. Elimination of the channelling to which conventional percolators are susceptible 8. Low sludge production and excellent process control Disadvantages of Rotating Biological Contactors 1. Requirement for covering RBC units in northern climates to protect against freezing 2. Shaft bearings and mechanical drive units require frequent maintenance