Achieving nitrogen removal via nitrite pathway from urban landfill leachate using the synergetic inhibition of free ammonia and free nitrous acid on nitrifying bacteria activity

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

In this study, a biological system consisting of an up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) and anoxic–oxic (A/O) reactor was established for the advanced treatment of high ammonium urban landfill leachate. The inhibitory effect of free ammonia (FA) and free nitrous acid (FNA) on the nitrifying bacterial activity was used to achieve stable nitritation in the A/O reactor. The results demonstrated that the biological system achieved chemical oxygen demand (COD), total nitrogen (TN) and NH4+-N removal efficiencies of 95.3, 84.6 and 99.2%, respectively at a low carbon-to-nitrogen ratio of 3:1. Simultaneous denitritation and methanogenesis in the UASB could improve the removal of COD and TN. Nitritation with above 90% nitrite accumulation was successfully achieved in the A/O reactor by synergetic inhibition of FA and FNA on the activity of nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB). Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis showed that ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) was dominant and was considered to be responsible for the satisfactory nitritation performance.

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