Intensive aeration for nitrification is a major energy consumer in sewage treatment plants (STPs). Low-dissolved-oxygen (low-DO) nitrification has the potential to lower the aeration demand. However, the applicability of low-DO nitrification in the tropical climate is not well-understood. In this study, the potential of low-DO nitrification in tropical setting was first examined using batch kinetic experiments. Subsequently, the performance of low-DO nitrification was investigated in a laboratory-scale sequential batch reactor (SBR) for 42 days using real tropical sewage. The batch kinetic experiments showed that the seed sludge has a relatively high oxygen affinity. Thus, the rate of nitrification was not significantly reduced at low DO concentrations (0.5 mg/L). During the operation of the low-DO nitrification SBR, 90% of NH4-N was removed. The active low-DO nitrification was mainly attributed to the limited biodegradable organics in the sewage. Fluorescence in-situ hybridisation and 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing revealed the nitrifiers were related to Nitrospira genus and Nitrosomonadaceae family. Phylogenetic analysis suggests 47% of the operational taxonomic units in Nitrospira genus are closely related to a comammox bacteria. This study has demonstrated active low-DO nitrification in tropical setting, which is a more sustainable process that could significantly reduce the energy footprint of STPs.
The novel immobilized microbial granules (IMG) shows a significant effect of nitrification for freshwater aquaculture. However, there is lack of evaluation study on the performance of nitrification at high salinity due to the concentration of recycled water or seawater utilization. A laboratory scale moving bed bioreactor (MBBR) with IMG was tested on recycled synthetic aquaculture wastewater for the nitrification at 2.5 mg/L NH3-N daily. The results indicated that IMG showed a high salinity tolerance and effectively converted ammonia to nitrate up to 92% at high salinity of 35.0 g/L NaCl. As salinity increased from near zero to 35.0 g/L, the microbial activity of nitrite oxidation bacteria (NOB) in the IMG decreased by 86.32%. The microbial community analysis indicated that salinity significantly influenced the community structure. It was found that Nitrosomonas sp. and Nitrospira sp. were the dominant genera for ammonia oxidation bacteria (AOB) and NOB respectively at different salinity levels.
A novel coupling process using an aerobic bacterial reactor with nitrification and sulfur-oxidization functions followed by a microalgal reactor was proposed for simultaneous biogas desulfurization and anaerobic digestion effluent (ADE) treatment. ADE nitrified by bacteria has a potential to be directly used as a culture medium for microalgae because ammonium nitrogen, including inhibitory free ammonia (NH3), has been converted to harmless NO3-. To demonstrate this hypothesis, Chlorella sorokiniana NIES-2173, which has ordinary NH3 tolerance; that is, 1.6 mM of EC50 compared with other species, was cultivated using untreated/treated ADE. Compared with the use of a synthetic medium, when using ADE with 1-10-fold dilutions, the specific growth rate and growth yield maximally decreased by 44% and 88%, respectively. In contrast, the algal growth using undiluted ADE treated by nitrification-desulfurization was almost the same as with using synthetic medium. It was also revealed that 50% of PO43- and most metal concentrations of ADE decreased following nitrification-desulfurization treatment. Moreover, upon NaOH addition for pH adjustment, the salinity increased to 0.66%. The decrease in metals mitigates the bioconcentration of toxic heavy metals from wastewater in microalgal biomass. Meanwhile, salt stress in microalgae and limiting nutrient supplementation, particularly for continuous cultivation, should be of concern.
In mangrove ecosystems, litter fall accumulates as refractory organic carbon on the sediment surface and creates anoxic sediment layers. Fiddler crabs, through their burrowing activity, translocate oxygen into the anoxic layers and promote aerobic respiration, iron reduction and nitrification. In this study, the effects of four species of fiddler crabs (Uca triangularis, Uca rosea, Uca forcipata and Uca paradussumieri) on organic content, water content, porosity, redox potential and solid phase iron pools of mangrove sediments were investigated. In each crab's habitat, six cores down to 30 cm depth were taken from burrowed and non-burrowed sampling plots. Redox potential and oxidized iron pools were highest in surface sediment, while porosity, water and organic content were higher in deeper sediment. Reduced iron (Fe (II)) and redox potential were significantly different between burrowed and non-burrowed plots. Crab burrows extend the oxidized surface layer down to 4 cm depth and through the oxidation effect, reduce the organic content of sediments. The effects of burrows varied between the four species based on their shore location. The oxidation effect of burrows enhance the decomposition rate and stimulate iron reduction, which are processes that are expected to play an important role in biogeochemical properties of mangrove sediments.
Integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS) process is considered as one of the leading-edge processes that provides a sustainable solution for wastewater treatment. IFAS was introduced as an advancement of the moving bed biofilm reactor by integrating the attached and the suspended growth systems. IFAS offers advantages over the conventional activated sludge process such as reduced footprint, enhanced nutrient removal, complete nitrification, longer solids retention time and better removal of anthropogenic composites. IFAS has been recognized as an attractive option as stated from the results of many pilot and full scales studies. Generally, IFAS achieves >90% removals for combined chemical oxygen demand and ammonia, improves sludge settling properties and enhances operational stability. Recently developed IFAS reactors incorporate frameworks for either methane production, energy generation through algae, or microbial fuel cells. This review details the recent development in IFAS with the focus on the pilot and full-scale applications. The microbial community analyses of IFAS biofilm and floc are underlined along with the special emphasis on organics and nitrogen removals, as well as the future research perspectives.
In this study, Hospital wastewater was treated using a submerged aerobic fixed film (SAFF) reactor coupled with tubesettler in series. SAFF consisted of a column with an up-flow biofilter. The biological oxygen demand (BOD)5, chemical oxygen demand (COD), nitrate and phosphate were the chosen pollutants for evaluation. The pollutants removal efficiency was determined at varying organic loading rates and hydraulic retention time. The organic loading rate was varied between 0.25 and 1.25 kg COD m-3 d-1. The removal efficiency of SAFF and tubesettler combined was 75 % COD, 67 % BOD and 67 % phosphate, respectively. However, nitrate saw an increase in concentration by 25 %. SAFF contribution in the removal of COD, BOD5 and Phosphate was 48 %, 46 % and 29 %, respectively. While for accumulation of nitrate, it was responsible for 56%, respectively. Tubesettler performed better than SAFF with 52 %, 54 % and 69 % reduction of COD, BOD5 and phosphate, respectively. But in terms of nitrate, tubesettler was responsible for 44 % accumulation. The nutrient reduction decreased with an increase in the organic loading rate. Nitrification was observed in the SAFF and tubesettler, which indicated a well-aerated system. An anaerobic unit is required for completing the denitrification process and removing nitrogen from the effluent. The better performance of tubesettler over SAFF calls for necessitates extended retention time over design criteria. Further studies are beneficial to investigate the impact of pharmaceutical compounds on the efficiency of SAFF.
This study aims to investigate the positive effects of the combined use of Enterobacter cloacae and biochar on improving nitrogen (N) utilization. The greenhouse pots experimental results showed the synergy of biochar and E. cloacae increased soil total N content and plant N uptake by 33.54% and 15.1%, respectively. Soil nitrogenase (NIT) activity increased by 253.02%. Ammonia monooxygenase (AMO) and nitrate reductase (NR) activity associated with nitrification and denitrification decreased by 10.94% and 29.09%, respectively. The relative abundance of N fixing microorganisms like Burkholderia and Bradyrhizobium significantly increased. Sphingomonas and Ottowia, two bacteria involved in the nitrification and denitrification processes, were found to be in lower numbers. The E. cloacae's ability to fix N2 and promote the growth of plants allow the retention of N in soil and make more N available for plant development. Biochar served as a reservoir of N for plants by adsorbing N from the soil and providing a shelter for E. cloacae. Thus, biochar and E. cloacae form a synergy for the management of agricultural N and the mitigation of negative impacts of pollution caused by excessive use of N fertilizer.
A detailed study on the solution chemistry of red soil in South China is presented. Data are collected from two simulated column-leaching experiments with an improved setup to evaluate the effects of atmospheric N deposition (ADN) composition and ADN flux on agricultural soil acidification using a (15)N tracer technique and an in situ soil solution sampler. The results show that solution pH values decline regardless of the increase of the NH4(+)/NO3(-) ratio in the ADN composition or ADN flux, while exchangeable Al(3+), Ca(2+), Mg(2+), and K(+) concentrations increase at different soil depths (20, 40, and 60 cm). Compared with the control, ADN (60 kg per ha per year N, NH4(+)/NO3(-) ratio of 2 : 1) decreases solution pH values, increases solution concentrations of NO3(-)-N, Al(3+), Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) at the middle and lower soil depths, and promotes their removal. NH4(+)-N was not detected in red soil solutions of all the three soil layers, which might be attributed to effects of nitrification, absorption and fixation in farmland red soil. Some of the NO3(-)-N concentrations at 40-60 cm soil depth exceed the safe drinking level of 10 mg L(-1), especially when the ADN flux is beyond 60 kg ha(-1) N. These features are critical for understanding the ADN agro-ecological effects, and for future assessment of ecological critical loads of ADN in red soil farmlands.
Implementation of sound fertilizer management in rice cultivation is essential in optimizing productivity and profitability. The use of controlled release fertilizer (CRF) to improve crop production in various cropping systems has been widely explored, with new approaches and materials continually being studied to produce new CRF. A field study was carried out to determine the efficiency of local CRFs on rice production and N uptake using MR220 CL1 rice variety. Ten different types of CRFs consisting of two groups namely biochar impregnated urea (BIU 300-5, BIU 300-10, BIU 700-5 and BIU 700-10) and palm stearin (PS) coated urea with nitrification inhibitors (PS, PS+DMPP-100, PS+DMPP-50, PS+DMPP-150, PS+Cu and PS+Zn) were used as treatments. Plant height, SPAD reading, 1000-grain weight and harvest index (HI) showed significant improvement in rice treated with both biochar impregnated and palm stearin coated urea. With respect to grain yield, BIU 300-10, BIU 700-5, BIU 700-10, PS+DMPP-100, PS+DMPP-50, PS+DMPP-150 and PS+Cu treatments significantly increased rice yield. The CRFs mostly showed significantly higher N uptake in rice, especially in rice grains, however, there was no significant difference among treatments in soil residual ammonium (NH4+-N). The newly-developed CRFs showed huge potential as an alternative for common urea, especially BIU 700-5, BIU 700-10, PS+DMPP-100 and PS+DMPP-50, in increasing rice grain yield. With proper approaches, these CRFs can contribute in improving rice production to provide sufficient food for ever increasing population.
Many wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) operating in biological nitrogen removal activated sludge process in the tropics are facing the pressure of increasingly stringent effluent standards while seeking solutions to reduce the plants' energy consumption and operating cost. This study investigated the feasibility of applying low-dissolved oxygen (low-DO) nitrification and utilizing slowly-biodegradable chemical oxygen demand (sbCOD) for denitrification, which helps to reduce energy usage and operating cost in treating low soluble COD-to-nitrogen tropical wastewater. The tropical wastewater was first characterized using wastewater fractionation and respirometry batch tests. Then, a lab-scale sequencing batch reactor (SBR) was operated to evaluate the long-term stability of low-DO nitrification and utilizing sbCOD for denitrification in an anoxic-oxic (AO) process treating tropical wastewater. The wastewater fractionation experiment revealed that particulate settleable solids (PSS) in the wastewater provided slowly-biodegradable COD (sbCOD), which made up the major part (51 ± 10%) of the total COD. The PSS hydrolysis rate constant at tropical temperature (30 °C) was 2.5 times higher than that at 20 °C, suggesting that sbCOD may be utilized for denitrification. During the SBR operation, high nitrification efficiency (93 ± 6%) was attained at low-DO condition (0.9 ± 0.1 mg O2/L). Utilizing sbCOD for post-anoxic denitrification in the SBR reduced the effluent nitrate concentration. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction, 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing and fluorescence in-situ hybridization revealed that the genus Nitrospira was a dominant nitrifier. 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing result suggested that 50% of the Nitrospira-related operational taxonomic units were affiliated with comammox, which may imply that the low-DO condition and the warm wastewater promoted their growth. The nitrogen removal in a tropical AO process was enhanced by incorporating low-DO nitrification and utilizing sbCOD for post-anoxic denitrification, which contributes to an improved energy sustainability of WWTPs.
Biochar, because of its unique physiochemical properties and sorption capacity, may be an ideal amendment in reducing gaseous emissions during composting process but there has been little information on the potential effects of different types of biochar on undesired gaseous emissions. The objective of this study was to examine the ability and mechanism of different types of biochar, as co-substrate, in mitigating gaseous emission from composting of layer hen manure. The study was conducted in small-scale laboratory composters with the addition of 10% of one of the following biochars: cornstalk biochar, bamboo biochar, woody biochar, layer manure biochar and coir biochar. The results showed that the cumulative NH3 production was significantly reduced by 24.8±2.9, 9.2±1.3, 20.1±2.6, 14.2±1.6, 11.8±1.7% (corrected for initial total N) in the cornstalk biochar, bamboo biochar, woody biochar, layer manure biochar and coir biochar treatments, respectively, compared to the control. Total CH4 emissions was significantly reduced by 26.1±2.3, 15.5±2.1, 22.4±3.1, 17.1±2.1% (corrected for the initial total carbon) for cornstalk biochar, bamboo biochar, woody biochar and coir biochar treatments than the control. Moreover, addition of cornstalk biochar increased the temperature and NO3(-)-N concentration and decreased the pH, NH4(+)-N and organic matter content throughout the composting process. The results suggested that total volatilization of NH3 and CH4 in cornstalk biochar treatment was lower than the other treatments; which could be due to (i) decrease of pH and higher nitrification, (ii) high sorption capacity for gases and their precursors, such as ammonium nitrogen from composting mixtures, because of the higher surface area, pore volumes, total acidic functional groups and CEC of cornstalk biochar.
Nitrate is one of the primary nutrients associated with sedimentation and fuels eutrophication in reservoir systems. In this study, water samples from Bukit Merah Reservoir (BMR) were analysed using a combination of water chemistry, water stable isotopes (δ2H-H2O and δ18O-H2O) and nitrate stable isotopes (δ15N-NO3- and δ18O-NO3-). The objective was to evaluate nitrate sources and processes in BMR, the oldest man-made reservoir in Malaysia. The δ15N-NO3- values in the river and reservoir water samples were in the range +0.4 to +14.9‰ while the values of δ18O-NO3- were between -0.01 and +39.4‰, respectively. The dual plots of δ15N-NO3- and δ18O-NO3- reflected mixing sources from atmospheric deposition (AD) input, ammonium in fertilizer/rain, soil nitrogen, and manure and sewage (MS) as the sources of nitrate in the surface water of BMR. Nitrate stable isotopes suggested that BMR undergoes processes such as nitrification and mixing. Denitrification and assimilation were not prevalent in the system. The Bayesian mixing model highlighted the dominance of MS sources in the system while AD contributed more proportion in the reservoir during both seasons than in the river. The use of δ13C, δ15N, and C:N ratios enabled the identification of terrestrial sources of the organic matter in the sediment, enhancing the understanding of sedimentation associated with nutrients previously reported in BMR. Overall, the nitrate sources and processes should be considered in decision-making in the management of the reservoir for irrigation, Arowana fish culture and domestic water supply.
The aeration strategy ranging from intermittent to continuous aeration in the REACT period of moving bed sequencing batch reactor (MBSBR) was evaluated for simultaneous removal of 4-chlorophenol (4-CP) and nitrogen. The results show that the removal rates of 4-CP and ammonium nitrogen (NH(4)(+)-N) increased with the increase of continuous aeration period. In the presence of 4-CP, NH(4)(+)-N removal was mainly by the assimilation process. The removal of NH(4)(+)-N to oxidized nitrogen via oxidation was only observed after 4-CP was completely degraded with sufficient aeration period provided indicating the inhibitory effect of 4-CP on nitrification. As the intermittent aeration strategy would lead to slower 4-CP degradation resulting in the delay of nitrification process, continuous aeration would be the preferred strategy in the simultaneous removal of 4-CP and nitrogen in the MBSBR system.
In this research, two types of sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) with 8 h of cycle times, namely non-powdered activated carbon (NPAC-SBR) and powdered activated carbon (PAC-SBR), were used for the treatment of raw leachates at Kulim and Pulau Burung landfill sites. To test the performance of SBRs, phenols, total iron, zinc, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, color, suspended solids, chemical oxygen demand, biochemical oxygen demand, and total dissolved salts removal efficiencies and sludge volume index (SVI) were studied at both sites. The rates of phenols removal, for instance in NPAC-SBRs and PAC-SBRs at Kulim, were 25% and 55%, respectively, whereas those at Pulau Buring were 94.81% and 97.75%, respectively. PAC as adsorbent in PAC-SBRs enhanced the removal efficiencies of the aforementioned pollutants from leachates at both sites. In addition, PAC as adsorbent decreased the SVI values at Kulim (59.7 mL/g) and Pulau Burung (91.4 mL/g) leachates and improved the nitrification and denitrification processes.
Nitrification of mature sanitary landfill leachate with high-strength of N-NH(4) + (1080-2350 mg L(-1)) was performed in a 10 L continuous nitrification activated sludge reactor. The nitrification system was acclimatized with synthetic leachate during feed batch operation to avoid substrate inhibition before being fed with actual mature leachate. Successful nitrification was achieved with an approximately complete ammonium removal (99%) and 96% of N-NH(4) + conversion to N-NO(-) (3) . The maximum volumetric and specific nitrification rates obtained were 2.56 kg N-NH(4) (+) m(-3) day(-1) and 0.23 g N-NH(4) ( +) g(-1) volatile suspended solid (VSS) day(-1), respectively, at hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 12.7 h and solid retention time of 50 days. Incomplete nitrification was encountered when operating at a higher nitrogen loading rate of 3.14 kg N-NH(4) (+) m(-3) day(-1). The substrate overloading and nitrifiers competition with heterotrophs were believed to trigger the incomplete nitrification. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) results supported the syntrophic association between the ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria. FISH results also revealed the heterotrophs as the dominant and disintegration of some AOB cell aggregates into single cells which further supported the incomplete nitrification phenomenon.
The description of comammox Nitrospira spp., performing complete ammonia-to-nitrate oxidation, and their co-occurrence with canonical β-proteobacterial ammonia oxidizing bacteria (β-AOB) in the environment, calls into question the metabolic potential of comammox Nitrospira and the evolutionary history of their ammonia oxidation pathway. We report four new comammox Nitrospira genomes, constituting two novel species, and the first comparative genomic analysis on comammox Nitrospira. Unlike canonical Nitrospira, comammox Nitrospira genomes lack genes for assimilatory nitrite reduction, suggesting that they have lost the potential to use external nitrite nitrogen sources. By contrast, compared to canonical Nitrospira, comammox Nitrospira harbor a higher diversity of urea transporters and copper homeostasis genes and lack cyanate hydratase genes. Additionally, the two comammox clades differ in their ammonium uptake systems. Contrary to β-AOB, comammox Nitrospira genomes have single copies of the two central ammonia oxidation pathway operons. Similar to ammonia oxidizing archaea and some oligotrophic AOB strains, they lack genes involved in nitric oxide reduction. Furthermore, comammox Nitrospira genomes encode genes that might allow efficient growth at low oxygen concentrations. Regarding the evolutionary history of comammox Nitrospira, our analyses indicate that several genes belonging to the ammonia oxidation pathway could have been laterally transferred from β-AOB to comammox Nitrospira. We postulate that the absence of comammox genes in other sublineage II Nitrospira genomes is the result of subsequent loss.
The current and escalating extent of soil degradation, water scarcity and environmental concern
plaguing agricultural productivity, demands re-assessing the direction of food production. Aquaponics
is a concept relatively new to modern food production methods and can contribute to food security.
This study was conducted to establish sustainable aquaculture systems that maximize benefits and
minimize the accumulation of detrimental compounds and other types of negative impacts on both
natural and social environments. This study carried out at an average inflow rate of 1.28 m/day to
evaluate the operation of the aquaponics recirculation system (ARS) on nutrients removal and growth
and yield of African catfish as well as water spinach. A special design of ARS was used to provide
nitrification of fishery wastewater, where the combination of sands and gravels in hydroponics trough,
providing both surfaces for biofuel development and cultivation area for plants. Removal efficiencies
of 5-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), total suspended solids (TSS), total ammonia nitrogen
(TAN), nitrite-nitrogen (NO2-N), nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N), and orthophosphate (PO4
) were 82%, 89%,
93%, 94%, 81%, and 80%, respectively. The feed conversion ratio (FCR) and specific growth rate
(SGR) of African catfish were 1.08 and 3.34% day-1
, respectively. The average water spinach
production was 3.56 kg per m2
. This study showed that ARS is a method of producing crop along with
a healthy protein source and among the best alternatives for achieving economic and environmental
In this study, we assessed and optimized a low-dissolved-oxygen oxic-anoxic (low-DO OA) process to achieve a low-cost and sustainable solution for wastewater treatment systems in the developing tropical countries treating low chemical oxygen demand-to-nitrogen ratio (COD/N) wastewater. The low-DO OA process attained complete ammonia removal and the effluent nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N) was below 0.3 mg/L. The recommended hydraulic retention time and sludge retention time (SRT) were 16 h and 20 days, respectively. The 16S rRNA sequencing data revealed that long SRT (20 days) encouraged the growth of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) affiliated with "Candidatus Nitrospira defluvii". Comammox made up 10-20% of the Nitrospira community. NOB and comammox related to Nitrospira were enriched at long SRT (20 days) to achieve good low-DO nitrification performance. The low-DO OA process was efficient and has simpler design than conventional processes, which are keys for sustainable wastewater treatment systems in the developing countries treating low COD/N wastewater.
Nitrogen (N) transport from land to water is a dominant contributor of N in estuarine waters leading to eutrophication, harmful algal blooms, and hypoxia. Our objectives were to (1) investigate the composition of inorganic and organic N forms, (2) distinguish the sources and biogeochemical mechanisms of nitrate-N (NO3-N) transport using stable isotopes of NO3- and Bayesian mixing model, and (3) determine the dissolved organic N (DON) bioavailability using bioassays in a longitudinal gradient from freshwater to estuarine ecosystem located in the Tampa Bay, Florida, United States. We found that DON was the most dominant N form (mean: 64%, range: 46-83%) followed by particulate organic N (PON, mean: 22%, range: 14-37%), whereas inorganic N forms (NOx-N: 7%, NH4-N: 7%) were 14% of total N in freshwater and estuarine waters. Stable isotope data of NO3- revealed that nitrification was the main contributor (36.4%), followed by soil and organic N sources (25.5%), NO3- fertilizers (22.4%), and NH4+ fertilizers (15.7%). Bioassays showed that 14 to 65% of DON concentrations decreased after 5-days of incubation indicating utilization of DON by microbes in freshwater and estuarine waters. These results suggest that despite low proportion of inorganic N forms, the higher concentrations and bioavailability of DON can be a potential source of N for algae and bacteria leading to water quality degradation in the estuarine waters.
This study investigates the role of plant (Elodea nuttallii) and effect of supplementary aeration on wastewater treatment and bioelectricity generation in an up-flow constructed wetland-microbial fuel cell (UFCW-MFC). Aeration rates were varied from 1900 to 0mL/min and a control reactor was operated without supplementary aeration. 600mL/min was the optimum aeration flow rate to achieve highest energy recovery as the oxygen was sufficient to use as terminal electron acceptor for electrical current generation. The maximum voltage output, power density, normalized energy recovery and Coulombic efficiency were 545.77±25mV, 184.75±7.50mW/m3, 204.49W/kg COD, 1.29W/m3 and 10.28%, respectively. The variation of aeration flow rates influenced the NO3- and NH4+ removal differently as nitrification and denitrification involved conflicting requirement. In terms of wastewater treatment performance, at 60mL/min aeration rate, UFCW-MFC achieved 50 and 81% of NO3- and NH4+ removal, respectively. E. nuttallii enhanced nitrification by 17% and significantly contributed to bioelectricity generation.