Partial nitrification—operational parameters and microorganisms involved

Review Paper

Abstract

Nitrite is a common intermediate in at least three different oxidative or reductive biochemical pathways that occur in nature (nitrification, denitrification and dissimilatory or assimilatory nitrate reduction). Nitrite accumulation or partial nitrification has been reported in literature for decades. In engineered systems, partial nitrification is of interest as it offers cost savings in aeration as well as in the form of lesser need for addition of organic carbon as compared to the conventional denitrification. A broad range of operating parameters and factors has been reviewed in this paper which are essential for achieving partial nitrification. Of these, pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), temperature, free ammonia (FA) and nitrous acid concentrations, inhibitory compounds are important factors in achieving partial nitrification.

Two groups of bacteria, namely ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) are involved in nitrification. Chemolitho-autotrophic AOB are responsible for the rate-limiting step of nitrification in a wide variety of environments, making them important in the global cycling of nitrogen. Characterization and identification of the bacterial populations in an engineered system which have been considered to be a “black box”, has been made possible by using non-cultivation based techniques such as fluorescent in situ hybridization technique (FISH), polymerase chain reaction (PCR), denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), Sequencing and other techniques involving quantitative chemical analyses of specific biomarkers including quinones. Accordingly, this paper also attempts to give examples of how various molecular techniques can be used for characterizing various microorganisms involved in biological nitrogen removal.

Keywords

Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria DO Fluorescence in situ hybridization Operating parameters Partial nitrification PCR-DGGE pH Temperature 

Abbreviations

Anammox

Anaerobic ammonium oxidation

AMO

Ammonia Monooxygenase

AOB

Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria

cDNA

Complementary deoxyribonucleic acid

Cd

Cadmium

\({\hbox{ClO}_{2}^{-}}\)

Chlorite ion

\({\hbox{ClO}_{3}^{-}}\)

Chlorate ion

COD

Chemical oxygen demand

Cr

Chromium

Cu

Copper

DGGE

Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis

DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid

DO

Dissolved oxygen

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency

FA

Free ammonia

Fe

Iron

FISH

Fluorescence in situ hybridization

FNA

Free nitrous acid

HAO

Hydroxylamine oxidoreductase

HNO2

Nitrous acid

HRT

Hydraulic residence time

MCRT

Mean cell residence time

MK

Menaquinone

N2

Nitrogen gas

NaCl

Sodium chloride

NaOH

Sodium hydroxide

NH3

Ammonia

\({\hbox{NH}_{4}^{+}}\)

Ammonium ion

NH2OH

Hydroxyl amine

NO

Nitric oxide

N2O

Nitrous oxide

\({\hbox{NO}_{2}^{-}}\)

Nitrite ion

\({\hbox{NO}_{3}^{-}}\)

Nitrate ion

NOB

Nitrite-oxidizing bacteria

NOD

Nitrogenous oxygen demand

NOR

Nitrite oxidoreductase

Pb

Lead

PCR

Polymerase chain reaction

Q

Ubiquinone

RNA

Ribonucleic acid

rRNA

Ribosomal ribonucleic acid

RT

Reverse transcriptase

Sharon

Single reactor high activity ammonia removal over nitrite

SMBR

Submerged membrane bioreactor

SRT

Sludge residence time

TAN

Total ammoniacal nitrogen

TOC

Total organic carbon

VAS

Volatile attached solids

WWTP

Wastewater treatment plant

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Engineering and ManagementAsian Institute of TechnologyKlong LuangThailand

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