ABSTRACT: A novel nitritation method based on the addition of inorganic carbon (IC) was verified using an airlift-fluidized bed reactor packed with sponge cubes. A continuous-treatment experiment demonstrated that the type of nitrification-nitrite or nitrate accumulation-could be controlled by the addition of different alkalinity sources (NaHCO(3) or NaOH, respectively). The maximum rate of ammonia oxidation at 30 degrees C was 2.47kg-N/(m(3) d), with nitrate formation of less than 0.5% of the converted ammonia. Nitrite accumulation of over 90% was maintained stably over 250 days at 30 degrees C and was achieved even at 19 degrees C. Qualitative and quantitative shifts of nitrifying bacteria in the biofilm were monitored by real-time PCR and T-RFLP analysis. Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) were dominant but nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) were eliminated in the reactor when NaHCO(3) was used as the alkalinity source. From the kinetic data, we inferred that high IC concentrations drive stable nitritation by promoting a higher growth rate for AOB than for NOB.
Water Research 07/2010; 44(14):4195-203. · 4.86 Impact Factor