Regular articles

The nitritation performance of biofilm reactor for treating domestic wastewater under high dissolved oxygen

Zhaoming Zheng , Zebing Li , Jing Ma , Jia Du , Guanghui Chen , Wei Bian , Jun Li , Baihang Zhao


Received April 07, 2015,Revised September 14, 2015, Accepted September 29, 2015, Available online December 07, 2015

Volume 28,2016,Pages 267-274

The objective of this study was to investigate the nitritation performance in a biofilm reactor for treating domestic wastewater. The reactor was operated in continuous feed mode from phases 1 to 3. The dissolved oxygen (DO) was controlled at 3.5–7 mg/L throughout the experiment. The biofilm reactor showed excellent nitritation performance after the inoculation of nitrifying sludge, with the hydraulic retention time being reduced from 24 to 7 hr. Above 90% nitrite accumulation ratio (NAR) was maintained in phase 1. Afterwards, nitratation occurred with the low NH4+–N concentration in the reactor. The improvement of NH4+–N concentration to 20–35 mg/L had a limited effect on the recovery of nitritation. However, nitritation recovered rapidly when sequencing batch feed mode was adopted in phase 4, with the effluent NH4+–N concentration above 7 mg/L. The improvement of ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) activity and the combined inhibition effect of free ammonia (FA) and free nitrous acid (FNA) on the nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB) were two key factors for the rapid recovery of nitritation. Sludge activity was obtained in batch tests. The results of batch tests had a good relationship with the long term operation performance of the biofilm reactor.

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