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Biological nitrogen removal with nitrification and denitrification via nitrite pathway

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Presently, the wastewater treatment practices can be significantly improved through the introduction of new microbial treatment technologies. To meet increasingly stringent discharge standards, new applications and control strategies for the sustainable removal of ammonium from wastewater have to be implemented. Partial nitrification to nitrite was reported to be technically feasible and economically favorable, especially when wastewater with high ammonium concentrations or low C/N ratios is treated. For successful implementation of the technology, the critical point is how to maintain partial nitrification of ammonium to nitrite. Partial nitrification can be obtained by selectively inhibiting nitrite oxidizing bacteria through appropriate regulation of the system’s DO concentration, microbial SRT, pH, temperature, substrate concentration and load, operational and aeration pattern, and inhibitor. The review addressed the microbiology, its consequences for their application, the current status regarding application, and the future developments.

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This research is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation Key International Cooperation project of China (No. 50521140075), National Hi-Tech Development Program “863” project (No. 2004AA601020), and the National Natural Science Foundation (20377003). Give special thanks to Mr. Guo Jianhua for his help in English checking.

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Correspondence to Guibing Zhu.

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Peng, Y., Zhu, G. Biological nitrogen removal with nitrification and denitrification via nitrite pathway. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 73, 15–26 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-006-0534-z

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  • Biological nitrogen removal
  • Denitrification
  • Partial nitrification
  • SHARON process
  • Shortcut nitrification–denitrification
  • Wastewater treatment