A Novel Integrated Biotrickling Filter -Anammox Bioreactor System for the Complete Treatment of Ammonia in Air with Nitrification and Denitrification

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An integrated biotrickling filter (BTF)-Anammox bioreactor system was established for the complete treatment of ammonia. Shortcut nitrification process was successfully achieved in the biotrickling filter through free ammonia and free nitrous acid inhibition of nitrite oxidizing bacteria. During transients, while increasing nitrogen loading, free ammonia was the main factor that inhibited the activity of ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB). During steady state operation, free nitrous acid was mainly responsible for inhibition of NOB due to the accumulation of nitrite at relatively low pH. Ammonia removal by the BTF reached up to 50 gN m-3 h-1 with 100% removal at an inlet concentration of 403 ppm and a gas residence time of 20.8 s. Average removal of ammonia during stable operation was 95%. The anammox bioreactor could remove 75% of total nitrogen discharged by the BTF when the two reactors were connected. The possibility of operating in complete closed loop mode for the liquid was investigated. However, due to the limited activity of the Anammox bioreactor or the fact that this reactor was undersized, recycling the Anammox effluent back to BTF caused accumulation of nitrite in the system which further inhibited activity of Anammox and progressively caused failure of the system.

A conceptual model of both bioreactors was also developed to optimize the integrated system. The model was developed by including mass balances of nitrogen in the system and inhibition factors in microbial kinetics. Parameters such as hydraulic residence time (HRT), empty bed residence time (EBRT) and pH had significant impact on the partial nitritation process in the BTF. Model simulations also indicated that implementing a recycle for the Anammox bioreactor was needed to reduce the inhibitory effect of nitrite on the performance of the system.





Tang, Lizhan (2020). A Novel Integrated Biotrickling Filter -Anammox Bioreactor System for the Complete Treatment of Ammonia in Air with Nitrification and Denitrification. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/20834.


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