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Biokinetic Characterization of the Acceleration Phase in Autotrophic Ammonia Oxidation

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Batch autotrophic ammonia oxidation tracked through oxygen uptake measurements displays a preliminary acceleration phase. Failure to recognize the acceleration phase and fitting batch ammonia oxidation profiles with standard Monod-type mathematical models can result in meaningless kinetic parameter estimates. The objectives of this study were to examine the factors controlling the acceleration phase and to derive and test empirical and metabolic models for its description. Because of possible sustained reducing power limitation during batch ammonia oxidation, the extent of the acceleration phase (1) increased with increasing initial ammonia concentration, (2) did not systematically vary with initial biomass concentrations, and (3) increased in response to starvation. Concurrent hydroxylamine oxidation significantly reduced the acceleration phase potentially by relieving reducing power limitation. A nonlinear empirical model described the acceleration phase more accurately than a linear empirical model. The metabolic model also captured experimental trends exceedingly well, but required determination of additional parameters and variables.
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Keywords: acceleration phase; biokinetics; empirical and metabolic modeling; extant respirometry; nitrification

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-08-01

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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.

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