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Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

Volume 192 of the series Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology pp 159-195

Biological Removal of Nitrogen from Wastewater

  • Guibing ZhuAffiliated withSchool of Municipal and Environmental Engineering, Harbin Institute of TechnologySKLEAC, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • , Yongzhen PengAffiliated withSchool of Municipal and Environmental Engineering, Harbin Institute of TechnologyKey Laboratory of Beijing Water Quality Science and Water Environment Recovery Engineering, Beijing University of Technology
  • , Baikun LiAffiliated withDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut
  • , Jianhua GuoAffiliated withSchool of Municipal and Environmental Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology
  • , Qing YangAffiliated withKey Laboratory of Beijing Water Quality Science and Water Environment Recovery Engineering, Beijing University of Technology
  • , Shuying WangAffiliated withKey Laboratory of Beijing Water Quality Science and Water Environment Recovery Engineering, Beijing University of Technology

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Abstract

The removal of ammonia from wastewater has become a worldwide emerging concern because ammonia is toxic to aquatic species and causes eutrophication in natural water environments (Tchobanoglous et al. 2003). Nitrogen compounds in wastewater can only be effectively removed by biological approaches (EPA 1993; Zhu et al. 2007a,b). Based on the microbial nitrogen cycle and the metabolism of inorganic nitrogen compounds (Fig. 1), many biological technologies and processes have been developed and implemented for nitrogen removal from wastewater, such as predenitrification (Anoxic/Oxic), modified Bardenpho, Bio-denitro, sequencing batch reactor (SBR), oxidation ditch (OD), step feeding, anaerobic/anoxic/ aerobic (A2/O), and University of Cape Town (UCT) processes (Wentzel et al. 1992; Østgaard et al. 1997; Williams and Beresford 1998; Tchobanoglous et al. 2003; Pai et al. 2004). These processes have been widely employed in wastewater treatment plants for nitrification and denitrification (EPA 1993). However, with the effluent discharge standards having become more stringent (<10mg total nitrogen/L), conventional processes cannot meet the new requirements (Khin and Annachhatre 2004).