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Nitrogen removal in a partial nitrification/complete denitrification process

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Using computer modeling and experimentation with a bench-scale prototype, a novel process for partial nitrification/complete denitrification (PN/CD) to achieve nitrogen removal equivalent to that obtained with the Ludzack-Ettinger (LE) process is demonstrated. Based on simulation results, the PN/CD process reduces aeration energy costs by up to 16% and energy requirements for recirculation and recycle pumping by up to 28% compared to the LE process. Furthermore, the total reactor volume of the PN/CD process is 26 to 44% less than that required by the LE process for equivalent nitrogen removal. The bench-scale PN/CD process was operated to confirm the feasibility of the proposed approach. The wastewater feed to this system was settled domestic wastewater supplemented with ammonia and acetate. The experimental PN/CD process met a 12-mg/L discharge limit on total nitrogen. Relative concentrations of ammonia and nitrate in the effluent were successfully controlled by varying the rate of mixed liquor recirculation. Process performance was not sensitive to dissolved oxygen concentrations of 1 to 3 mg/L in the aerated reactors.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 1998

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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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