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Ammonia Inhibition in the Anaerobic Treatment of Fishery Effluents

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Inhibition of the organic matter consumption rate of a saline and rich proteic effluent by free ammonia was assessed in anaerobic filters at 37 °C. Inhibition of substrate (total organic carbon, TOC) consumption rate by ammonia was fitted by the Luong and noncompetitive models. Calculated kinetic parameters using the Luong model were maximum specific growth rate, μ max = 0.28 day 2−1; average saturation constant, KS = 568 mg TOC/L; Luong inhibition parameter, KNH3 = 1707mg ammonia-nitrogen (NH3–N)/L; and Luong exponent, γ = 0.283 and the noncompetitive calculated parameters were μ max = 0.26 day 2−1, KS = 703 mg TOC/L, and inhibition parameter, INH3 = 325 mg NH3–N/L. The Luong and noncompetitive models predicted 50% inhibition of the substrate consumption rate at ammonia concentrations of 147 and 325 mg NH3–N/L, respectively, suggesting biomass adaptation to the ammonia concentration (80 mg NH3–N/L as average) at which the anaerobic filters were previously operating. Ammonia formation by anaerobic digestion of fishing effluent would produce a maximum of 65.1 and 58.6% inhibition of the efficiency, predicted by the Luong and noncompetitive models, respectively. Ammonia influence on the digestion steps was determined by comparing fishing effluent with volatile fatty acids as substrates. The noncompetitive model predicted a 50% inhibition of methane production rate at ammonia concentrations of 196.6 and 188.6 mg NH3–N/L for fishing effluent and volatile fatty acids, respectively, suggesting that the methanogenic step is the one most affected by ammonia.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143001X138813

Publication date: March 1, 2001

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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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