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Effect of Cold-Temperature Shock on Nitrification

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Nitrification is known as the most temperature-sensitive step among the biological processes in wastewater treatment. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of temperature on nitrification, in the case of a sharp decrease of temperature, and to compare this effect with that of a gradual temperature decrease. It was found that a sudden temperature decrease affected nitrification much more than predicted. The immediate decrease of temperature by 10°C led to a 20% larger decrease of specific nitrification rate than predicted by the temperature correction factor of 1.072. The change of nitrification rate resulting from a gradual temperature decrease was modeled correctly with the current default temperature correction factor of 1.072. It was concluded that the correction factor actually can be applied to a gradual temperature-change situation; however, in the case of a sudden temperature decrease, measures need to be taken to avoid nitrifier washout.

Keywords: Arrhenius equation; nitrification; shock; temperature

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2007

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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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