Biological and technical study of a partial-SHARON reactor at laboratory scale: Effect of hydraulic retention time

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


  • A. González-Martínez
  • K. Calderón
  • A. Albuquerque
  • E. Hontoria
  • J. González-López
  • I. M. Guisado
  • F. Osorio

Research units

  • University of Granada
  • University of Beira Interior


This study was on the technical and biological characteristics of a partial-SHARON submerged-filter bioreactor of 3 L. The main focus was the influence of the hydraulic retention time (HRT) on biofilms. For this purpose, we used molecular tools based on the partial 16S rRNA genes. The results showed that the HRT may affect the nitrification processes of a bioreactor using synthetic wastewater containing 600 mg/L of ammonia. It was found that an HRT of 0.5 day transformed 100 % of the ammonium into nitrite. However, when the HRT was decreased to 0.4 day, there was a significant reduction (35 %) in the quantity of ammonia transformed, which confirmed the complexity of the system operation. Moreover, a PCR-TGGE approach highlighted the differences observed. The results obtained showed that an HRT of 0.5 day reduced bacterial biodiversity in the biofilms, which were mainly formed by Nitrosomonas and Diaphorobacter. In contrast, an HRT of 0.4 day facilitated the formation of heterogeneous biofilms formed by nitrifying bacteria, such as Nitrosomonas sp., Nitrosospira sp., and Nitrosovibrio sp.).


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-184
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Hydraulic retention time (HRT), Nitrogen removal, Partial nitrification, SHARON process, Submerged biofilter, Wastewater treatment

ID: 8886107