Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 19, pp 19047–19062 | Cite as

Steady-state modeling of the biodegradation performance of a multistage moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) used for on-site greywater treatment

  • Khaoula Masmoudi Jabri
  • Thorsten Fiedler
  • Assia Saidi
  • Erwin Nolde
  • Michael Ogurek
  • Sven-Uwe Geissen
  • Latifa BousselmiEmail author
Advanced Oxidation Process for Sustainable Water Management


In this study, the Activated Sludge Model No. 3 (ASM3) was applied for the simulation of the removal of organics and nitrogen in a multistage moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) used for biological greywater treatment. The data related to the characterization of the greywater were collected over a period of 5 months to be investigated in the model. The reactor showed a high performance for the removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), biological oxygen demand (BOD5), ammonia (NH4-N), and total nitrogen (TN) with a removal efficiency of 93%, 80.7%, 99%, 89%, and 77%, respectively. The results of modeling showed a good correlation between simulated and experimental concentrations of COD issued from different reactors of the MBBR system. The adaptability of the ASM3 model to fit other parameters such as TN, NH4-N, total suspended solids (TSS), and the dissolved oxygen (DO) was also investigated for two selected reactors: reactor (R1) and the reactor (R5). The simulation results showed an acceptable correlation regarding the evolution of the investigated parameters in R1 and R5 and in the effluent except for total nitrogen TN. The adjustment of the stoichiometric parameters led to a satisfactory simulation of TN concentrations.


Modeling Moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) Biocarriers Activated sludge model Greywater treatment 



This study was developed in the framework of sandwich thesis between the Technical University of Berlin and the University of Carthage in Tunisia. The authors wish to thank Dr. Jens Alex and Michael Ogurek for technical support by ifak Institut fuer Automation und Kommunikation e.V. Magdeburg-Germany

Funding information

The study was financially supported by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Tunisia, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Khaoula Masmoudi Jabri
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Thorsten Fiedler
    • 3
  • Assia Saidi
    • 4
  • Erwin Nolde
    • 5
  • Michael Ogurek
    • 6
  • Sven-Uwe Geissen
    • 2
  • Latifa Bousselmi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Wastewater and EnvironmentCentre for Water Research and Technologies CERTESolimanTunisia
  2. 2.National Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology INSATUniversity of CarthageTunisTunisia
  3. 3.Faculty III, Chair of Environmental Process EngineeringTechnische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Laboratory of Geo-Sciences Applied to Development Engineering (G.A.I.A.), Faculty of Sciences Ain ChockUniversity Hassan IICasablancaMorocco
  5. 5.Nolde & Partner innovative WasserkonzepteBerlinGermany
  6. 6.ifak-Institut für Automation und Kommunikation e.V. MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany

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