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Sensors 2012, 12(12), 16334-16352; doi:10.3390/s121216334

A DO- and pH-Based Early Warning System of Nitrification Inhibition for Biological Nitrogen Removal Processes

1
Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Seoul, 90 Jeonnong-dong Dongdaemun-Gu, Seoul 130-743, Korea
2
National Institute of Environmental Science, Incheon 404-708, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 August 2012 / Revised: 29 October 2012 / Accepted: 5 November 2012 / Published: 26 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioassays)
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Abstract

In Korea, more than 80% of municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) with capacities of 500 m3·d−1 or more are capable of removing nitrogen from wastewater through biological nitrification and denitrification processes. Normally, these biological processes show excellent performance, but if a toxic chemical is present in the influent to a WWTP, the biological processes (especially, the nitrification process) may be affected and fail to function normally; nitrifying bacteria are known very vulnerable to toxic substances. Then, the toxic compound as well as the nitrogen in wastewater may be discharged into a receiving water body without any proper treatment. Moreover, it may take significant time for the process to return back its normal state. In this study, a DO- and pH-based strategy to identify potential nitrification inhibition was developed to detect early the inflow of toxic compounds to a biological nitrogen removal process. This strategy utilizes significant changes observed in the oxygen uptake rate and the pH profiles of the mixed liquor when the activity of nitrifying bacteria is inhibited. Using the strategy, the toxicity from test wastewater with 2.5 mg·L−1 Hg2+, 0.5 mg·L−1 allythiourea, or 0.25 mg·L−1 chloroform could be successfully detected. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitrification inhibition; pH; DO; early warning system; biological nitrogen removal processes nitrification inhibition; pH; DO; early warning system; biological nitrogen removal processes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hong, S.; Choi, I.; Lim, B.J.; Kim, H. A DO- and pH-Based Early Warning System of Nitrification Inhibition for Biological Nitrogen Removal Processes. Sensors 2012, 12, 16334-16352.

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