Knowledge of relative NH4+-N to NO2−-N oxidation and NO2−-N to NO3−-N oxidation dynamics is essential before application of either single-step or two-step nitrification models
to describe batch nitrification respirograms. Two step nitrification models based on respirometry permit the estimation of kinetic parameters for both nitrification steps from a single respirogram describing NH4+-N to NO3−-N oxidation.
However, two-step model parameter estimates are meaningful only under circumstances when batch NH4+-N to NO3−-N oxidation respirograms contain sufficient kinetic information pertaining to both steps. In this study, we present an operationally
amenable extant batch nitrification respirometric assay to engender maximal information content in the resulting respirograms. The developed design consists of an initial NH4+-N pulse to a nitrifying biomass sample followed by an additional NO2−-N
pulse at an optimal time point, which can be rigorously determined by maximizing the value of the determinant of the Fisher information matrix, Det(F) or alternatively by identifying the point of NH4+-N depletion during the respirometric assay.
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