Application of Luffa as an Innovative Packing Media in an Aerated Submerged Fixed-Film Reactor (ASFFR)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assist. Prof. of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences

2 Assoc. Prof. of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences

3 MSc Student of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences

4 Professor of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences

5 Laboratory Staff, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences


Application of attached growth systems (AGS) is associated with special limitations in wastewater treatment. One such limitation is the unavailability of cheap and appropriate media in Iran. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of Luffa sponge as a natural media in treating synthetic wastewater. Luffa cylinders were used as the fixed media required for an aerated submerged fixed-film reactor (ASFFR) and the performance of the reactor in organic removal was studied. A Plexiglas column having a capacity of 8 liters was used as a reactor. The natural medium was coated by lacquer to protect it against biodegradation. Glucose was used as the carbon source for microorganisms. Organic loading rates of 0.6, 1.2, 1.8, and 2.4 kgCOD/m3.d were applied to obtain COD removal efficiencies of 82.8, 93.4, 89.5, and 81.3%, respectively. Results showed that Luffa sponge cylinders could be used as supporting media within ASFFR under low organic loading rates and limited time conditions. The maximum efficiency of COD removal (93.4%) was obtained for 1.2 kg COD/m3.d. Also, it was revealed that ASFFR with Luffa sponge medium was capable of withstanding organic loading shocks.


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