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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.
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Keywords: Arrhenius equation; nitrification; shock; temperature

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-09-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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