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Nitrification‐Denitrification Biological Treatment of a High-Nitrogen Waste Stream for Water-Reuse Applications

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This research was conducted to evaluate the use of biological nitrification‐denitrification systems as pre-processors for recycling wastewater to potable water in support of space exploration. A packed-bed bioreactor and membrane-aerated nitrification reactor were operated in series with a 10:1 recycle ratio over varying loading rates. The dissolved organic carbon (DOC) removal exceeded 80% for all loading rates ( = 1 to 6.8 days), while total nitrogen removal generally increased with decreasing retention time, with a maximum removal of 55%. The degree of nitrification generally declined with decreasing retention time from a high of 80% to a low of 60%. Maximum DOC and total nitrogen volumetric removal rates exceeded 1000 and 800 g/m 3 · d, respectively, and maximum nitrification volumetric conversion rates exceeded 300 g/m 3 · d. At low hydraulic loading rates, the system was stoichiometrically limited, while kinetic limitations dominated at high hydraulic loading rates. Incomplete nitrification occurred at high loading rates, likely as a result of the high pH and large concentrations of ammonia.

Keywords: biological pretreatment; denitrification; nitrification; water reuse

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-04-01

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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.

    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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