Impact of nitrate addition on biofilm properties and activities in rising main sewers
Mohanakrishnan, Jana. et al. (2009),
Mohanakrishnan, Jana., Gutierrez, O., Sharma, K. R., Guisasola, A., Werner, U., Meyer, R. L., Keller, J., Yuan, Z. (2009),
Anaerobic sewer biofilm is a composite of many different microbial populations, including sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB), methanogens and heterotrophic bacteria. Nitrate addition to sewers in an attempt to control hydrogen sulfide concentrations affects the behaviour of these populations, which in turn impacts on wastewater characteristics. Experiments were carried out on a laboratory reactor system simulating a rising main to determine the impact of nitrate addition on the microbial activities of anaerobic sewer biofilm. Nitrate was added to the start of the rising main during sewage pump cycles at a concentration of 30 mg-N L-1for over 5 months. While it reduced sulfide levels at the outlet of the system by 66%, nitrate was not toxic or inhibitory to SRB activity and did not affect the dominant SRB populations in the biofilm. Long-term nitrate addition in fact stimulated additional SRB activity in downstream biofilm. Nitrate addition also stimulated the activity of nitrate reducing, sulfide oxidizing bacteria that appeared to be primarily responsible for the prevention of sulfide build up in the wastewater in the presence of nitrate. A short adaptation period of three to four nitrate exposure events (approximately 10 h) was required to stimulate biological sulfide oxidation, beyond which no sulfide accumulation was observed under anoxic conditions. Nitrate addition effectively controlled methane concentrations in the wastewater. The nitrate uptake rate of the biofilm increased with repeated exposure to nitrate, which in turn increased the consumption of biodegradable COD in the wastewater. These results provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of nitrate addition on wastewater composition and sewer biofilm microbial activities, which will facilitate optimization of nitrate dosing for effective sulfide control in rising main sewers. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Nitritation performance in membrane-aerated biofilm reactors differs from conventional biofilm systems
Lackner, Susanne et al. (2010),
Lackner, Susanne, Terada, Akihiko, Horn, Harald, Henze, Mogens, Smets, Barth F. (2010),
Nitrogen removal via nitrite has gained increasing attention in recent years due to its potential cost savings. Membrane-aerated biofilm reactors (MABRs) are one potential technology suitable to achieve nitritation. In this study we compared lab scale MABRs with conventional biofilm reactors to evaluate the influence of environmental conditions and operational parameters on nitritation performance. The oxygen mass transfer rate is postulated as a crucial parameter to control nitritation in the MABR: Clean water measurements showed significant underestimation of the total oxygen mass transfer, however, accurate determination of the oxygen mass transfer coefficient (km) of the system could be achieved by adjusting the liquid-phase mass transfer resistance in the constructed model. Batch experiments at different initial ammonium concentrations revealed that the conventional biofilm geometry was superior for nitritation compared to MABRs. These differences were reflected well in estimates of the oxygen affinity constants of the key microbial players, AOB and NOB (KO,AOB< KO,NOB(in both systems) and KO,NOBvalues smaller in the MABR vs. the conventional biofilm system). It also appeared that - in addition to oxygen limitation - the absolute and relative substrate concentrations in the biofilm (esp. of oxygen) are very important for successful nitritation. Initial biomass composition, furthermore, impacted reactor performance in the MABR systems indicating the need for appropriate inoculum choice. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Counter-diffusion biofilms have lower N2O emissions than co-diffusion biofilms during simultaneous nitrif…
Kinh, Co Thi et al. (2017),
Kinh, Co Thi, Suenaga, Toshikazu, Hori, Tomoyuki, Riya, Shohei, Hosomi, Masaaki, Smets, Barth F., Terada, Akihiko (2017),
The goal of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a membrane-aerated biofilm reactor (MABR), a representative of counter-current substrate diffusion geometry, in mitigating nitrous oxide (N2O) emission. Two laboratory-scale reactors with the same dimensions but distinct biofilm geometries, i.e., a MABR and a conventional biofilm reactor (CBR) employing co-current substrate diffusion geometry, were operated to determine depth profiles of dissolved oxygen (DO), nitrous oxide (N2O), functional gene abundance and microbial community structure. Surficial nitrogen removal rate was slightly higher in the MABR (11.0 ± 0.80 g-N/(m2 day) than in the CBR (9.71 ± 0.94 g-N/(m2 day), while total organic carbon removal efficiencies were comparable (96.9 ± 1.0% for MABR and 98.0 ± 0.8% for CBR). In stark contrast, the dissolved N2O concentration in the MABR was two orders of magnitude lower (0.011 ± 0.001 mg N2O-N/L) than that in the CBR (1.38 ± 0.25 mg N2O-N/L), resulting in distinct N2O emission factors (0.0058 ± 0.0005% in the MABR vs. 0.72 ± 0.13% in the CBR). Analysis on local net N2O production and consumption rates unveiled that zones for N2O production and consumption were adjacent in the MABR biofilm. Real-time quantitative PCR indicated higher abundance of denitrifying genes, especially nitrous oxide reductase (nosZ) genes, in the MABR versus the CBR. Analyses of the microbial community composition via 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing revealed the abundant presence of the genera Thauera (31.2 ± 11%), Rhizobium (10.9 ± 6.6%), Stenotrophomonas (6.8 ± 2.7%), Sphingobacteria (3.2 ± 1.1%) and Brevundimonas (2.5 ± 1.0%) as potential N2O-reducing bacteria in the MABR.
Intermittent aeration to regulate microbial activities in membrane-aerated biofilm reactors: Energy-effic…
Ma, Yunjie et al. (2022),
Chemical Engineering Journal,
Ma, Yunjie, Piscedda, Andrea, Veras, Antia De La C., Domingo-Félez, Carlos, Smets, Barth F. (2022),
Chemical Engineering Journal,
Membrane-aerated biofilm reactors (MABR) are being applied for autotrophic nitrogen removal, yet control of nitrogen turnover remains challenging in MABR counter-diffusion biofilms. In this study, we regulated microbial activities in two lab-scale MABRs by providing continuous versus intermittent aeration. Nitrogen consumption by different functional microbial groups was estimated from bulk measurements via a mass balance approach. Nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) proliferated under continuous aeration while they were significantly suppressed under intermittent aeration, and NOB suppression activated anaerobic ammonium oxidation. Nitritation performance in the MABR was studied through long-term bulk measurements and in situ biofilm microprofiles of dissolved oxygen (DO) and pH. During intermittent aeration pH effects rather than DO effects determined nitritation success, especially ammonia speciation, which serves as substrate and inhibitor in nitrification processes. Biofilm transition phases were monitored upon aeration switches. Canonical correspondence analysis suggested that the relative transition after anoxia and aeration intermittency were less decisive for biofilm performance than the relative aeration duration. Heterotrophic bacteria displayed minor denitrification rates with aeration control, but contributed to mitigation of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. N2O production hotspots were identified at the top of the anoxic biofilm zone under continuous aeration. Instead, under intermittent aeration an anoxic N2O reduction zone was established. Our observations support intermittent aeration control of MABRs as a simple strategy for energy-efficient nitrogen removal with low N2O emission.