Aquatic environment

Effect of alkalinity on nitrite accumulation in treatment of coal chemical industry wastewater using moving bed biofilm reactor

Baolin Hou , Hongjun Han , Shengyong Jia , Haifeng Zhuang , Qian Zhao , Peng Xu


Received June 22, 2013,Revised November 07, 2013, Accepted , Available online April 01, 2014

Volume 26,2014,Pages 1014-1022

Nitrogen removal via nitrite (the nitrite pathway) is more suitable for carbon-limited industrial wastewater. Partial nitrification to nitrite is the primary step to achieve nitrogen removal via nitrite. The effect of alkalinity on nitrite accumulation in a continuous process was investigated by progressively increasing the alkalinity dosage ratio (amount of alkalinity to ammonia ratio, mol/mol). There is a close relationship among alkalinity, pH and the state of matter present in aqueous solution. When alkalinity was insufficient (compared to the theoretical alkalinity amount), ammonia removal efficiency increased first and then decreased at each alkalinity dosage ratio, with an abrupt removal efficiency peak. Generally, ammonia removal efficiency rose with increasing alkalinity dosage ratio. Ammonia removal efficiency reached to 88% from 23% when alkalinity addition was sufficient. Nitrite accumulation could be achieved by inhibiting nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB) by free ammonia (FA) in the early period and free nitrous acid in the later period of nitrification when alkalinity was not adequate. Only FA worked to inhibit the activity of NOB when alkalinity addition was sufficient.

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