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Cocurrent biological nitrification and denitrification in wastewater treatment

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Repetitive conditioning of recycle activated sludge (RAS) under strict anaerobic conditions gradually changes the products of ammonia oxidation from nitrite and nitrate to nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitrogen (N2). Nitrite inhibits oxygen respiration of anaerobically conditioned sludge; biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) is then oxidized by nitrite, which is reduced to N2O and N2. When anaerobic RAS conditioning is initially imposed on a nitrifying system, Nitrobacter species continue to oxidize nitrite to nitrate and thus reduce the nitrite available to oxidize BOD. However, Nitrobacter in the mixed liquor gradually tend to wash out because the sole source of Nitrobacter energy, the oxidation of nitrite to nitrate, is diminished to the extent that nitrite is reduced.

Incorporation of an RAS conditioning zone to the activated-sludge process results in evolution of a nonfilamentous biomass, which affects both cocurrent biological nitrification and denitrification (CBND) and biological phosphorus removal (BPR). The initial feed zone may be either aerobic or anaerobic. A final anoxic denitrification zone is desirable for removal of residual nitrite plus nitrate (NOx) from aeration effluent. Nitrous oxide, the main reaction product of CBND, promotes both global warming and destruction of the stratospheric ozone layer.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1998-11-01

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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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