Figure 7.24.2 shows typical arrangements of RBCs. In general, an RBC system is divided into a series of independent stages or compartments by baffles in a single basin (see Part A in Figure 7.24.2) or separate basins arranged in series (see Part B in Figure 7.24.2).
Compartmentalization creates a flow pattern with little longitudinal mixing in the flow direction (i.e., a plug-flow pattern), increasing overall removal efficiency of an RBC system (Tchobanoglous and Schroeder 1985). It can also promote separation of bacterial species at different stages, achieving optimal performance. For example, au-totrophic bacteria responsible for nitrification can concentrate at later stages in an RBC system designed for combined carbon removal and nitrification where the mixed liquor BOD is low. Consequently, nitrification performance is more reliable and stable.
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