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Operating parameters for high nitrite accumulation during nitrification in a rotating biological nitrifying contactor


, : Operating parameters for high nitrite accumulation during nitrification in a rotating biological nitrifying contactor. Water Environment Research 79(9): 1006-1014

Incomplete nitrification was studied in a completely and partially submerged rotating biological contactor (RBC). In a partially submerged RBC without additional aeration, 50 to 90% nitrite accumulation (alpha) was achieved at rotation speeds (omega) of 2 to 18 min(-1). In a completely submerged RBC operating during 80 days, a higher alpha of 96% was achieved at omega = 2 min(-1). Incomplete nitrification in a completely submerged RBC at oxygen concentrations of 1.5 to 6.8 mg O2/L indicated that the mass transfer of oxygen is rate-limiting. Modeling of the completely submerged RBC predicts that the oxygen profile will not penetrate the biofilm more than 30 microm, thereby strongly limiting the nitrite-oxidizer growth and causing high nitrite accumulation. Molecular analysis (i.e., fluorescence in situ hybridization) indicated that the nitrite-oxidizers are superficially located (<200 microm) and that the ammonia-oxidizers comprise up to approximately 800 microm of the biofilm.

US$19.90

PMID: 17910370

DOI: 10.2307/25053678


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