Based on the structure of the hybrid respirometer previously developed in our group, a novel implementation for titrimetry was developed, in which two pH electrodes were installed at the inlet and outlet of the measuring cell. The software capable of digital filtering and titration time delay correction was developed in LabVIEW. The hardware and software of the titrimeter and the respirometer were integrated to construct a novel system of respirometry–titrimetry. The system was applied to monitor a batch nitrification process. The obtained profiles of oxygen uptake rate (OUR) and hydrogen ion production rate (HPR) are consistent with each other and agree with the principle of the biological nitrification reaction. According to the OUR and HPR measurements, the oxidized ammonium concentrations were estimated accurately. Furthermore, the endpoint of ammonium oxidation was identified with much higher sensitivity by the HPR measurement. The system could be potentially used for on-line monitoring of biochemical reactions occurring in any kind of bioreactors because its measuring cell is completely independent of the bioreactor.
Keywords: ammonium oxidation, hydrogen ion production rate, nitrification, oxygen uptake rate, respirometry, titrimetry