Two-step nitrification in a pure moving bed biofilm reactor-membrane bioreactor for wastewater treatment: nitrifying and denitrifying microbial populations and kinetic modeling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • J. C. Leyva-Díaz
  • A. González-Martínez
  • M. M. Muñío
  • J. M. Poyatos

Research units

  • University of Granada


The moving bed biofilm reactor-membrane bioreactor (MBBR-MBR) is a novel solution to conventional activated sludge processes and membrane bioreactors. In this study, a pure MBBR-MBR was studied. The pure MBBR-MBR mainly had attached biomass. The bioreactor operated with a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 9.5 h. The kinetic parameters for heterotrophic and autotrophic biomasses, mainly nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB), were evaluated. The analysis of the bacterial community structure of the ammonium-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), NOB, and denitrifying bacteria (DeNB) from the pure MBBR-MBR was carried out by means of pyrosequencing to detect and quantify the contribution of the nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria in the total bacterial community. The relative abundance of AOB, NOB, and DeNB were 5, 1, and 3 %, respectively, in the mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS), and these percentages were 18, 5, and 2 %, respectively, in the biofilm density (BD) attached to carriers. The pure MBBR-MBR had a high efficiency of total nitrogen (TN) removal of 71.81 ± 16.04 %, which could reside in the different bacterial assemblages in the fixed biofilm on the carriers. In this regard, the kinetic parameters for autotrophic biomass had values of YA = 2.3465 mg O2 mg N−1, μm, A = 0.7169 h−1, and KNH = 2.0748 mg N L−1.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10333-10343
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Autotrophic kinetics, Biofilm, Moving bed biofilm reactor, Pyrosequencing, Two-step nitrification, Wastewater treatment

ID: 8885526