Mathematical Modeling of Nitrous Oxide Production during Denitrifying Phosphorus Removal Process

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Journal Article
Environmental Science and Technology, 2015, 49 (14), pp. 8595 - 8601
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© 2015 American Chemical Society. A denitrifying phosphorus removal process undergoes frequent alternating anaerobic/anoxic conditions to achieve phosphate release and uptake, during which microbial internal storage polymers (e.g., Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)) could be produced and consumed dynamically. The PHA turnovers play important roles in nitrous oxide (N2O) accumulation during the denitrifying phosphorus removal process. In this work, a mathematical model is developed to describe N2O dynamics and the key role of PHA consumption on N2O accumulation during the denitrifying phosphorus removal process for the first time. In this model, the four-step anoxic storage of polyphosphate and four-step anoxic growth on PHA using nitrate, nitrite, nitric oxide (NO), and N2O consecutively by denitrifying polyphosphate accumulating organisms (DPAOs) are taken into account for describing all potential N2O accumulation steps in the denitrifying phosphorus removal process. The developed model is successfully applied to reproduce experimental data on N2O production obtained from four independent denitrifying phosphorus removal study reports with different experimental conditions. The model satisfactorily describes the N2O accumulation, nitrogen reduction, phosphate release and uptake, and PHA dynamics for all systems, suggesting the validity and applicability of the model. The results indicated a substantial role of PHA consumption in N2O accumulation due to the relatively low N2O reduction rate by using PHA during denitrifying phosphorus removal.
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