Instructor: Harlan Bengtson
Credit Hours: 4.00

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Course Description

Biological wastewater treatment is very widely used for removal of biodegradable materials from wastewater. The first course in this sequence, Biological Wastewater Treatment I – Activated Sludge, starts with a discussion of the biochemical oxygen demand that is created by biodegradable materials in water and the reason why such materials must be removed from wastewater. This course is about the Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) wastewater treatment process, including background information about the process and a description of the process, as well as process design calculations for several different configurations of the MBBR process and numerous example calculations.

This course is intended primarily for civil engineers, environmental engineers, and chemical engineers. After completing this course, you will be familiar with the general components and configuration of an MBBR wastewater treatment process and be able to make typical process design calculations for an MBBR process.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  • Describe the differences between attached growth and suspended growth biological wastewater treatment processes.
  • Describe the components and general configuration of an MBBR wastewater treatment process.
  • Calculate the loading rate of a wastewater constituent to an MBBR process (in lb/day and g/day) for a specified wastewater flow rate and concentration.
  • Calculate the required carrier surface area for an MBBR wastewater treatment process for a specified SALR and loading rate.
  • Calculate the required MBBR tank volume for specified carrier surface area, carrier specific surface area, and the carrier fill %.
  • Calculate the liquid volume in an MBBR tank for known tank volume, carrier volume and carrier % void space.
  • Calculate the BOD, NH3-N, or NO3-N removal rate for known values of the surface area removal rate (SARR) and design carrier surface area.
  • Calculate an estimated effluent BOD, NH3-N, or NO3-N concentration based on known values of the appropriate loading rate, estimated removal rate, and design wastewater flow rate.
  • Make process design calculations for a post-Anoxic denitrification MBBR process, including required tank sizes, estimated effluent concentrations, alkalinity requirement and carbon source requirement.
  • Make process design calculations for a pre-anoxic denitrification MBBR process, including required tank sizes, estimated effluent concentrations, and alkalinity requirements.

Instructor Bio

Dr. Bengtson is a graduate of Iowa State University with B.S. and M.S. degrees and of the University of Colorado with a PhD. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Missouri. He has spent 30 years in engineering education in teaching and administrative positions, including six years as Dean of Engineering at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. His areas of expertise are environmental engineering, hydrology and hydraulics, engineering science and renewable energy systems. He did consulting work while holding the academic positions. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Bengtson worked for Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing as a Product Development Engineer and for E. I. duPont deNemours as a Process Development Engineer. Dr. Bengtson has authored numerous publications, presentations and technical reports. He is currently active in providing continuing education opportunities for Professional Engineers and is the founder of and, sites with the objective of providing inexpensive, easy to use Excel spreadsheets for a variety of engineering calculations.

Other Approvals

National Professional Engineer board: Not Required