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Chromium and nickel toxicity during the biotreatment of high ammonia landfill leachate

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Two nitrification-denitrification systems were used to determine the possible inhibitory and/or toxic effects of supplemental chromium and nickel addition to the nitrification-denitrification process in the treatment of a relatively high ammonia, low biodegradable carbon, municipal landfill leachate. Results indicated that chromium (Cr+3) and nickel (Ni+2) caused inhibitory effects to the system at soluble concentrations of approximately 0.30 and 0.70 mg/L, respectively. Chromium affected both the nitrification and denitrification process, whereas nickel impaired only the nitrification performance; denitrification was unaffected at the nickel concentrations used. The failures were believed to be due to either the soluble metal levels themselves or the buildup of metals in the solids, although lack of long-term acclimation cannot be ruled out. No phosphorus deficiency was noted in either case. This ruled out the possibility of system failures due to lack of bioavailable phosphorus, as reported with zinc in the early stages of this study.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143096X127172

Publication date: January 1, 1996

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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