Batch experiments with varying initial substrate concentrations and biomass volumes were performed in a three-phase fluidized bed biofilm reactor treating simulated domestic wastewater to study the simultaneous carbon oxidation and nitrification in the biofilm process. A simplified mass balance equation for the biofilm was proposed and five different kinetic rate equations were used to match the actual data. The kinetic parameters were obtained by nonlinear regression analysis on a set of two differential equations representing the simultaneous carbon oxidation and nitrification. The competitive inhibition model incorporating the effects of total organic carbon (TOC) concentrations on nitrification rates was the best-suited model based on the average r2. In this model, oxygen concentration and its affinity constants were not included. Instead, it was assumed that the rate of carbon oxidation is independent of the NH4+-N, while nitrification is affected by TOC. The number of parameters was successfully minimized without reducing its ability to accurately predict the bulk concentration time course, which would reduce computational complexity and possibly enhance the availability for an actual wastewater treatment process.
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