Leachate generated from landfill is becoming a great environmental challenge to China as it contains high concentration of COD, ammonium and some other substances. Nitrogen removal through the conventional nitrification-denitrification process is hampered by the low C/N ratio especially for the old age landfill sites and the high energy consumption for aeration. In this study, the combination of magnesium ammonium phosphate (MAP) precipitation and Sequencing batch reactor (SBR) was suggested as a new process for the treatment of high strength ammonium, and the effect of high concentration of Cl− after MAP precipitation because of the use of MgCl2 was investigated on SBR performance. The practical upper limit of Cl− for nitrification was found to be 12,000 mg/L, above which resulted in significant accumulation of ammonium in SBR system. It is suggested that an ammonium removal of 70% was suitable for the MAP treatment to achieve a balance between increasing the C/N ratio and avoiding detrimental effect from high concentration of Cl− in the succeeding SBR system. DGGE analysis indicated that high diversity of Ammonium oxidizing bacteria (AOB) could be maintained at a Cl− concentration of 12,000 mg/L.
Keywords: chloride effect, landfill leachate, MAP, nitrogen removal, SBR