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N2O Emissions: Impact of Process Configuration and Diurnal Loading Patterns

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The paper presents a mechanistic model for quantifying N2O emissions from activated sludge plants. The model describes the mechanistic link between the factors recognized to correlate positively with N2O emissions. The primary factors are the presence of ammonia together with nitrite accumulation. Low DO concentrations also may be implicated through differential impacts on AOB versus NOB activity. Factors promoting N2O emissions at treatment plants are discussed. The model is applied to data from laboratory and pilot-scale systems. From a practical standpoint, the paper demonstrates that plant configuration (e.g. plug-flow versus complete-mix), influent loading patterns (and peak load), and certain operating strategies (e.g. handling of return streams) are all important in determining N2O emissions.
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Keywords: Ammonia; N2O; Nitrification; Nitrite; greenhouse gas; modeling; nitrous oxide

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2011

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