N2O emission from a sequencing batch reactor for biological N and P removal from wastewater

Research Article


Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a greenhouse gas that can be released during biological nitrogen removal from wastewater. N2O emission from a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) for biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal from wastewater was investigated, and the aims were to examine which process, nitrification or denitrification, would contribute more to N2O emission and to study the effects of heterotrophic activities on N2O emission during nitrification. The results showed that N2O emission was mainly attributed to nitrification rather than to denitrification. N2O emission during denitrification mainly occurred with stored organic carbon as the electron donor. During nitrification, N2O emission was increased with increasing initial ammonium or nitrite concentrations. The ratio of N2O emission to the removed ammonium nitrogen (N2ON/NH4-N) was 2.5% in the SBR system with high heterotrophic activities, while this ratio was in the range from 0.14% to 1.06% in batch nitrification experiments with limited heterotrophic activities.


biological nutrient removal denitrification greenhouse gas nitrification nitrous oxide 


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lei Shen
    • 1
  • Yuntao Guan
    • 1
  • Guangxue Wu
    • 1
  • Xinmin Zhan
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Microorganism Application and Risk Control (MARC) of Shenzhen, Graduate School at ShenzhenTsinghua UniversityShenzhenChina
  2. 2.Civil Engineering, College of Engineering and InformaticsNational University of IrelandGalwayIreland

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