Evaluating the roles of coexistence of sludge flocs on nitrogen removal and nitrous oxide production in a granule-based autotrophic nitrogen removal system.
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- The Science of the total environment, 2020, 730, pp. 139018
- Issue Date:
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Certain levels of sludge flocs would always coexist in granule-based reactors due to the biomass detachment from granules. Such inevitable coexistence could affect both total nitrogen (TN) removal and nitrous oxide (N2O) production in autotrophic nitrogen removal systems. This work utilized a mathematical approach to systematically study the influence of the coexisting sludge flocs on TN removal and N2O production in a granular nitritation-anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Anammox) process for the first time, based on a 2-pathway N2O production model concept. The modelling results reveal that the highest TN removal efficiency decreases from ca. 87-88% to ca. 41-49% as the fraction of sludge flocs in the system increases from 10% to 40%, while the N2O production rate gradually increases with such increase. Meanwhile, both bulk dissolved oxygen (DO, 0.05-0.3 mg/L) and the size of granule (200-400 μm) could also influence the TN removal efficiency and N2O production. As the fraction of sludge flocs increases from 10% to 40%, the contribution of granular biomass to total N2O production is reduced due to increase of N2O-producing ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in the sludge flocs, and the increase of granule size could intensify such decrease. In addition, the hydroxylamine oxidation pathway dominates the nitrifier denitrification pathway in both granules and sludge flocs under various testing conditions, whereas the increasing contribution of the latter would occur at a certain DO range, higher fraction of sludge flocs and smaller granule size. These results disclose an important influence of the coexisting sludge flocs on the performance of granular nitritation-Anammox systems.
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