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Nitrogen removal in wastewater


Nitration biofilms

Nitrogen removal in wastewater treatment plans is a critical and costly procedure and researchers are therefore investigating alternative methods to complete this task. Lackner et al (2010) used Unisense microsensors to study the influence of environmental conditions and operational parameters on nitritation performance. The study compared two methods for nitrogen removeal; the membrane aerated biofilm reactor (counter diffusion) and the conventional biofilm reactor (co-diffusion).


One of the aims for the project was to determine the oxygen penetration depth in the biofilms. This was done by inserting the microsensor into the biofilm reactors through a small hole in the reactor lid. Oxygen microprofiles were completed by mounting OX-10 on a motorized MicroProfiling System.

The study demonstrated that there are challenges in achieving nitritation in membrane aerated biofilm reactors and it showed the importance of careful determination, adjustment and monitoring of oxygen and ammonium fluxes and their respective absolute concentrations.


Unisense Product List: 


Amplifier System Microsensor Multimeter
Positioning Equipment

MicroProfiling System

Software SensorTrace PRO


Related products

Microsensors and electrodes

Lackner, Susanne et al (2010), Nitritation performance in membrane-aerated biofilm reactors differs from conventional biofilm systems, Water Research, 6073 - 6084, vol. 44 Read abstract

Frederiksen, Morten S. et al (2006), Oxygen dynamics in the rhizosphere of Zostera marina: A two-dimensional planar optode study, Limnology and Oceanography, 1072 - 1083, vol. 51 Read abstract

Mohanakrishnan, Jana. et al (2009), Impact of nitrate addition on biofilm properties and activities in rising main sewers, Water Research, 4225 - 4237, vol. 43 Read abstract

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