SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.34 número2Management of hydrogen sulphide generation at a Kraft mill effluent plantFaecal coliforms, faecal enterococci, Salmonella Typhi and Acanthamoeba spp. UV inactivation in three different biological effluents índice de autoresíndice de materiabúsqueda de artículos
Home Pagelista alfabética de revistas  

Servicios Personalizados



Links relacionados

  • En proceso de indezaciónCitado por Google
  • En proceso de indezaciónSimilares en Google


Water SA

versión On-line ISSN 1816-7950
versión impresa ISSN 0378-4738

Water SA vol.34 no.2 Pretoria feb. 2008


Nitrite effect on the phosphorus uptake activity of phosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs) in pilot-scale SBR and MBR reactors



Gürkan SinI, II; Kwinten NivilleIII; Giulia BachisI; Tao JiangI; Ingmar NopensI; Stijn van HulleIII; Peter A VanrolleghemI, IV

IBIOMATH, Department of Applied Mathematics, Biometrics and Process Control, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Gent, Belgium
IIDepartment of Chemical & Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Building 229DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
IIIResearch group EnBiChem, Department of Industrial Engineering and Technology, University College West Flanders, Graaf Karel De Goedelaan 5, 8500 Kortrijk, Belgium
IVProfessor, modelEAU, Département de génie civil, Pavillon Pouliot, Université Laval, Québec G1K 7P4, Canada





Batch tests were performed to investigate the nitrite effect on the P-uptake of biomass grown in pilot-scale SBR and MBR systems. The results showed that the nitrite has an inhibitory effect on the aerobic P-uptake of the SBR and the MBR biomasses. The degree of inhibition was observed to be 65 % and 37 % at 10 mg NO2-N/ for the SBR and the MBR respectively. Both biomasses were found capable of using nitrite as electron acceptor as effectively as nitrate. Moreover, for the SBR biomass the anoxic P-uptake rate using nitrite was found even higher (60%) than the P-uptake rate with nitrate. From a modelling point of view, the current models require appropriate extensions to describe these various effects of nitrite. Hence, an extension of the ASM2d model has been provided. Prevention of nitrite build-up in full-scale EBPRs will eliminate the nitrite inhibition problem. Alternatively one can adopt a proactive approach in which the aerobic P-uptake phase is replaced with an anoxic P-uptake phase using only nitrite as electron acceptor. Such an approach offers considerable cost savings and enhanced nitrogen and phosphorus removal. This, however, requires further research for experimental validation and testing.

Keywords: ASM2d, MBR, modelling, nitrogen and phosphorus removal, nitrite inhibition, polyphosphate accumulating organisms, phosphate uptake, SBR


"Full text available in PDF"



AHN J, DAIDOU T, TSUNEDA S and HIRATA A (2001) Metabolic behavior of denitrifying phosphate-accumulating organisms under nitrate and nitrite electron acceptor conditions. J. Biosci. Bioeng. 92 (5) 442-446.         [ Links ]

ANTHONISEN AC, LOEHR RC, PRAKASAM TBS and SRINATH EG (1976) Inhibition of nitrification by ammonia and nitrous-acid. J. Water Pollut. Control Fed. 48 (5) 835-852.         [ Links ]

ANTILEO C, ROECKEL M and WIESMANN U (2003) High nitrite build-up during nitrification in a rotating disk reactor. Water Environ. Res. 75 (2) 151-162.         [ Links ]

BOEIJE G, CORSTANJE R, ROTTIERS A and SCHOWANEK D (1999) Adaptation of the CAS test system and synthetic sewage for biological nutrient removal. Part I: Development of a new synthetic sewage. Chemosphere 38 (4) 699-709.         [ Links ]

CASEY TG, WENTZEL MC and EKAMA GA (1999) Filamentous organism bulking in nutrient removal activated sludge systems -Paper 9: Review of biochemistry of heterotrophic respiratory metabolism. Water SA 25 (4) 409-424.        [ Links ]

DE KREUK M, HEIJNEN JJ and van LOOSDRECHT MCM (2005) Simultaneous COD, nitrogen, and phosphate removal by aerobic granular sludge. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 90 (6) 761-769.         [ Links ]

HU JY, ONG SL, NG WJ, LU F and FAN XJ (2003) A new method for characterizing denitrifying phosphorus removal bacteria by using three different types of electron acceptors. Water Res. 37 (14) 3463-3471.         [ Links ]

INSEL G, SIN G, LEE DS, NOPENS I and VANROLLEGHEM PA (2006) A calibration methodology and model-based systems analysis for SBRs removing nutrients under limited aeration conditions. J. Chem. Technol. Biotechnol. 81 (4) 679-687.         [ Links ]

JIANG T (2007) Characterization and Modeling of Soluble Microbial Products in Membrane Bioreactors. Ph.D. thesis. Ghent University, Belgium.         [ Links ]

KUBA T, VAN LOOSDRECHT MCM and HEIJNEN JJ (1996) Phosphorus and nitrogen removal with minimal COD requirement by integration of denitrifying dephosphatation and nitrification in a two-sludge system. Water Res. 30 (7) 1702-1710.         [ Links ]

LEE DS, JEON CO and PARK JM (2001) Biological nitrogen removal with enhanced phosphate uptake in a sequencing batch reactor using single sludge system. Water Res. 35 (16) 3968-3976.         [ Links ]

MARTINS AMP, PAGILLA K, HEIJNEN JJ and van LOOSDRECHT MCM (2004), Filamentous bulking sludge - a critical review. Water Res. 38 793-817.         [ Links ]

MANNING JF and IRVINE RL (1985) The biological removal of phosphorous in a sequencing batch reactor. J. Water Pollut. Control Fed. 57 87-94.         [ Links ]

MEIJER SCF, van LOOSDRECHT MCM and HEIJNEN JJ (2001) Metabolic modelling of full-scale biological nitrogen and phosphorus removing WWTPs. Water Res. 35 (11) 2711-2723.         [ Links ]

MEINHOLD J, ARNOLD E and ISAACS S (1999) Effect of nitrite on anoxic phosphate uptake in biological phosphorus removal activated sludge. Water Res. 33 (8) 1871-1883.         [ Links ]

MUSVOTO EV, LAKAY MT, CASEY TG, WENTZEL MC and EKAMA GA (1999) Filamentous organism bulking in nutrient removal activated sludge systems - Paper 8: The effect of nitrate and nitrite.Water SA 25 (4) 397-407.        [ Links ]

RAKE JB and EAGON RG (1980) Inhibition, but not uncoupling, of respiratory energy coupling of 3 bacterial species by nitrite. J. Bacteriol. 144 (3) 975-982.         [ Links ]

SAITO T, BRDJANOVIC D, and van LOOSDRECHT MCM (2004) Effect of nitrite on phosphate uptake by phosphate accumulating organisms. Water Res. 38 (17) 3760-3768.         [ Links ]

SCHULER AJ and JENKINS D (2003) Enhanced biological phosphorus removal from wastewater by biomass with different phosphorus contents. Part I: Experimental results and comparison with metabolic models. Water Environ. Res. 75 (6) 485-498.         [ Links ]

SEVIOUR RJ, MINO T and ONUK IM (2003) The microbiology of biological phosphorus removal in activated sludge systems. Fems Microbiol. Rev. 27 (1) 99-127.         [ Links ]

SIN G and VANROLLEGHEM PA (2006a) Evolution of an ASM2d-like model structure due to operational changes of an SBR process. Water Sci. Technol. 53 (12) 237-245.         [ Links ]

SIN G, VILLEZ K and VANROLLEGHEM PA (2006b) Application of a model-based optimisation methodology for nutrient removing SBRs leads to falsification of the model. Water Sci. Technol. 53 (4-5) 95-103.         [ Links ]

SOEJIMA K, OKI K, TERADA A, TSUNEDA S and HIRATA A.(2006) Effects of acetate and nitrite addition on fraction of denitrifying phosphate-accumulating organisms and nutrient removal efficiency in anaerobic/aerobic/anoxic process. Bioproc. Biosyst. Eng. 29 (5-6) 305-313.         [ Links ]

STANDARD METHODS (1998) Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater (20th edn.) American Public Health Association (APHA), Washington DC.         [ Links ]

VADIVELU VM, KELLER J and YUAN ZG (2006) Effect of free ammonia and free nitrous acid concentration on the anabolic and catabolic processes of an enriched Nitrosomonas culture. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 95 (5) 830-839.         [ Links ]

VAN BENTHUM WAJ, DERISSEN BP, van LOOSDRECHT MCM and HEIJNEN JJ (1998) Nitrogen removal using nitrifying bio-film growth and denitrifying suspended growth in a biofilm airlift suspension reactor coupled with a chemostat. Water Res. 32 (7) 2009-2018.         [ Links ]

VAN DONGEN U, JETTEN MSM and van LOOSDRECHT MCM (2001) The SHARON®-Anammox® process for treatment of ammonium rich wastewater. Water Sci. Technol. 44 (1) 153-160.         [ Links ]

VAN HULLE SWH, VOLCKE EIP, LÓPEZ JT, DONCKELS B, VAN LOOSDRECHT MCM and VANROLLEGHEM PA (2007) Influence of temperature and pH on the kinetics of the SHARON nitritation process. J. Chem. Technol. Biotechnol. 82 (5) 471-480.         [ Links ]

WIESMANN U (1994) Biological nitrogen removal from wastewater. In: Fiechter A (ed.) Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology. Vol 5. Springer Verlag, Berlin, Germany.         [ Links ]

WILDERER P, IRVINE RL and GORONSZY MC (2001) Sequencing Batch Reactor Technology. IWA Scientific and Technical Report No. 10. IWA Publishing, London.         [ Links ]

YARBROUGH JM, RAKE JB and EAGON RG (1980) Bacterial inhibitory effects of nitrite - inhibition of active-transport, but not of group translocation, and of intracellular enzymes. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 39 (4) 831-834.         [ Links ]

ZENG RJ, LEMAIRE R, YUAN Z and KELLER J (2003) Simultaneous nitrification, denitrification, and phosphorus removal in a lab-scale sequencing batch reactor. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 84 (2) 170-178.         [ Links ]



+45 45252960
Fax: +45 45 93 29 06

Received 14 September 2007
Accepted in revised form 21 December 2007

Creative Commons License Todo el contenido de esta revista, excepto dónde está identificado, está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons