Evaluation of Nitrous Oxide Emission from Sulfide- and Sulfur-Based Autotrophic Denitrification Processes.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Environmental science & technology, 2016, 50 (17), pp. 9407 - 9415
Issue Date:
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Recent studies have shown that sulfide- and sulfur-based autotrophic denitrification (AD) processes play an important role in contributing to nitrous oxide (N2O) production and emissions. However, N2O production is not recognized in the current AD models, limiting their ability to predict N2O accumulation during AD. In this work, a mathematical model is developed to describe N2O dynamics during sulfide- and sulfur-based AD processes for the first time. The model is successfully calibrated and validated using N2O data from two independent experimental systems with sulfide or sulfur as electron donors for AD. The model satisfactorily describes nitrogen reductions, sulfide/sulfur oxidation, and N2O accumulation in both systems. Modeling results revealed substantial N2O accumulation due to the relatively low N2O reduction rate during both sulfide- and sulfur-based AD processes. Application of the model to simulate long-term operations of activated sludge systems performing sulfide- and sulfur-based AD processes indicates longer sludge retention time reduced N2O emission. For sulfide-based AD process, higher initial S/N ratio also decreased N2O emission but with a higher operational cost. This model can be a useful tool to support process operation optimization for N2O mitigation during AD with sulfide or sulfur as electron donor.
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