Nitrous oxide production in a granule-based partial nitritation reactor: A model-based evaluation

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Scientific Reports, 2017, 7
Issue Date:
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Sustainable wastewater treatment has been attracting increasing attentions over the past decades. However, the production of nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent GHG, from the energy-efficient granule-based autotrophic nitrogen removal is largely unknown. This study applied a previously established N2O model, which incorporated two N2O production pathways by ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) (AOB denitrification and the hydroxylamine (NH 2 OH) oxidation). The two-pathway model was used to describe N2O production from a granule-based partial nitritation (PN) reactor and provide insights into the N2O distribution inside granules. The model was evaluated by comparing simulation results with N2O monitoring profiles as well as isotopic measurement data from the PN reactor. The model demonstrated its good predictive ability against N2O dynamics and provided useful information about the shift of N2O production pathways inside granules for the first time. The simulation results indicated that the increase of oxygen concentration and granule size would significantly enhance N2O production. The results further revealed a linear relationship between N2O production and ammonia oxidation rate (AOR) (R2 = 0.99) under the conditions of varying oxygen levels and granule diameters, suggesting that bulk oxygen and granule size may exert an indirect effect on N2O production by causing a change in AOR.
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