Denitrifying phosphorus removal and impact of nitrite accumulation on phosphorus removal in a continuous anaerobic–anoxic–aerobic (A2O) process treating domestic wastewater
A lab-scale anaerobic–anoxic–aerobic (A2O) process was operated to investigate denitrifying phosphorus removal and nitritation–denitritation from domestic wastewater, especially regarding the impact of nitrite accumulation caused by nitritation on phosphorus removal. The results showed that mean total nitrogen (TN) removal was only about 47% and phosphorus removal was almost zero without the pre-anoxic zone and additional carbon source. Contrastively, with configuration of pre-anoxic zone, TN and phosphorus removal was increased to 75% and 98%, respectively, as well as denitrifying phosphorus removal of 66–91% occurred in the anoxic zone. Nitritation–denitritation was achieved through a combination of short aerobic actual hydraulic retention time and low dissolved oxygen levels (0.3–0.5 mg/L); however, phosphorus removal deteriorated with increase of nitrite accumulation rates. The free nitrous acid (FNA) concentration of 0.002–0.003 mg HNO2–N/L in the aerobic zone inhibited phosphorus uptake, which was major cause of phosphorus removal deterioration. Through supplying the carbon sources to enhance denitrification and anaerobic phosphorus release, nitrite and FNA concentrations in the aerobic zone were reduced, and phosphorus removal was improved. Compared with nitrification–denitrification, nitritation–denitritation reduced the carbon requirement by 30% and performed biological nutrients removal well with mean TN and phosphorus removal of 85% and 96%, respectively.
Journal: Enzyme and Microbial Technology - Volume 48, Issue 2, 8 February 2011, Pages 134–142