Nitrous Oxide Production in Co- Versus Counter-Diffusion Nitrifying Biofilms.

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Journal Article
Scientific reports, 2016, 6 pp. 28880 - ?
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For the application of biofilm processes, a better understanding of nitrous oxide (N2O) formation within the biofilm is essential for design and operation of biofilm reactors with minimized N2O emissions. In this work, a previously established N2O model incorporating both ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) denitrification and hydroxylamine (NH2OH) oxidation pathways is applied in two structurally different biofilm systems to assess the effects of co- and counter-diffusion on N2O production. It is demonstrated that the diffusion of NH2OH and oxygen within both types of biofilms would form an anoxic layer with the presence of NH2OH and nitrite ( ), which would result in a high N2O production via AOB denitrification pathway. As a result, AOB denitrification pathway is dominant over NH2OH oxidation pathway within the co- and counter-diffusion biofilms. In comparison, the co-diffusion biofilm may generate substantially higher N2O than the counter-diffusion biofilm due to the higher accumulation of NH2OH in co-diffusion biofilm, especially under the condition of high-strength ammonium influent (500 mg N/L), thick biofilm depth (300 μm) and moderate oxygen loading (~1-~4 m(3)/d). The effect of co- and counter-diffusion on N2O production from the AOB biofilm is minimal when treating low-strength nitrogenous wastewater.
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