Minimization of nitrous oxide emission in a pilot-scale oxidation ditch: generation, spatial variation and microbial interpretation.

Research paper by Maosheng M Zheng, Yuhao Y Tian, Tang T Liu, Tao T Ma, Li L Li, Can C Li, Muhammad M Ahmad, Qian Q Chen, Jinren J Ni

Indexed on: 13 Jan '15Published on: 13 Jan '15Published in: Bioresource Technology


Nitrous oxide (N2O) emission from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) has received increasing attention. This paper presented how N2O emission was significantly reduced in a pilot-scale Carrousel oxidation ditch under reasonable nitrification and denitrification. N2O emission from the reactor was found as low as 0.027% of influent nitrogen, which was much less than that from other processes. Further measurements on spatial variation of N2O emission in the alternative aerobic/anoxic zones with help of a series of batch experiments demonstrated that about 90% of the emission was contributed by nitrifier denitrification (ND). Moreover, the taxonomic analysis based on high through-put 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that the high abundance of denitrifying bacteria and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) was responsible for low nitrite accumulations and consequent low N2O emissions. However, N2O generation would be greatly increased upon the normal operation being shocked by either ammonia overload or aeration failure of the oxidation ditch system.