Operating Parameters for High Nitrite Accumulation during Nitrification in a Rotating Biological Nitrifying Contactor
Abstract:Incomplete nitrification was studied in a completely and partially submerged rotating biological contactor (RBC). In a partially submerged RBC without additional aeration, 50 to 90% nitrite accumulation (α) was achieved at rotation speeds (ω) of 2 to 18 min−1. In a completely submerged RBC operating during 80 days, a higher α of 96% was achieved at ω = 2 min−1. Incomplete nitrification in a completely submerged RBC at oxygen concentrations of 1.5 to 6.8 mg O2/L indicated that the mass transfer of oxygen is rate-limiting. Modeling of the completely submerged RBC predicts that the oxygen profile will not penetrate the biofilm more than 30 μm, thereby strongly limiting the nitrite-oxidizer growth and causing high nitrite accumulation. Molecular analysis (i.e., fluorescence in situ hybridization) indicated that the nitrite-oxidizers are superficially located (<200 μm) and that the ammonia-oxidizers comprise up to approximately 800 μm of the biofilm.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 2007
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