Partial nitrification and biological phosphorus removal appear to hold promise of a cost-effective and sustainable biological nutrient removal process. Pilot sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) were operated under anaerobic/aerobic configuration for 8 months. It was found that biological phosphorus removal can be achieved in an SBR system, along with the partial nitrification process. Sufficient volatile fatty acids supply was the key for enhanced biological phosphorus removal. This experiment demonstrated that partial nitrification can be achieved even at low temperature with high dissolved oxygen (>3 mg/L) concentration. Shorter solid retention time (SRT) for nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB) than for ammonia oxidizing bacteria due to the nitrite substrate limitation at the beginning of the aeration cycle was the reason that caused NOB wash-out. Controlling SRT should be the strategy for an SBR operated in cold climate to achieve partial nitrification. It was also found that the aerobic phosphorus accumulating organisms' P-uptake was more sensitive to nitrite inhibition than the process of anaerobic P-release.
Keywords: biological phosphorus removal, denitritation, low temperature, nitritation, partial nitrification