Effect of cycle changes on simultaneous biological nutrient removal in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR)

M. Coma, S. Puig, H. Monclús, M. D. Balaguer, J. Colprim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (SciVal)


The destabilization of a microbial population is sometimes hard to solve when different biological reactions are coupled in the same reactor as in sequencing batch reactors (SBRs). This paper will try to guide through practical experiences the recovery of simultaneous nitrogen and phosphorus removal in an SBR after increasing the demand of wastewater treatment by taking advantage of its flexibility. The results demonstrate that the length of phases and the optimization of influent distribution are key factors in stabilizing the system for long-term periods with high nutrient removal (88%, 93% and 99% of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus, respectively). In order to recover a biological nutrient removal (BNR) system, different interactions such as simultaneous nitrification and denitrification and also phosphorus removal must be taken into account. As a general conclusion, it can be stated there is no such thing as a perfect SBR operation, and that much will depend on the state of the BNR system. Hence, the SBR operating strategy must be based on a dynamic cycle definition in line with process efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-294
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • Biological nutrient removal
  • FISH
  • Sequencing batch reactor
  • Simultaneous nitrification-denitrification and phosphorus removal (SNDPR)
  • Step-feed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Water Science and Technology


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