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Effect of Influent Nitrogen Speciation on Organic Nitrogen Occurrence in Activated Sludge Process Effluents

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The effect of influent nitrogen composition on organic nitrogen production in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) activated sludge process was investigated. A laboratory-scale SBR was fed with three different type synthetic wastewaters with varying nitrogen compositions (phase I  =  nitriloacetic acid + ammonium [NH4-N], phase II  =  NH4-N, and phase III  =  amino acid mixture + NH4-N) was operated. The effluent contained approximately 1 to 2 mg N/L organic nitrogen, even though there was no organic nitrogen in influent. The effluent organic nitrogen increased to approximately 4 mg N/L when the influent composition was changed and then stabilized at <2 mg N/L. The maximum nitrifier growth rate constants (μN) were calculated as 0.91±0.10 to 1.14±0.08 day−1, 0.82 ±0.13 day−1, and 0.89±0.08 day−1 at 20°C for the three different influent compositions. The effluent colloidal organic nitrogen (CON) was negligible, suggesting that the effluent CON found in full-scale plants may be the result of influent-derived suspended matter.

Keywords: colloidal organic nitrogen; effluent organic nitrogen

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-08-01

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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.

    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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