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Partial nitritation treatment of underground brine waste with high ammonium and salt content

Shinohara, Takehiko, Qiao, Sen, Yamamoto, Taichi, Nishiyama, Takashi, Fujii, Takao, Kaiho, Tatsuo, Bhatti, Zafar, Furukawa, Kenji
Journal of bioscience and bioengineering 2009 v.108 no.4 pp. 330-335
ammonia, biomass, iodine, methane, methane production, microbial communities, nitrates, nitrification, nitrifying bacteria, nitrite nitrogen, nitrites, nitrogen, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, pH, ribosomal RNA, salinity, salt content, temperature, wastes, Japan
Underground brine waste containing high concentrations of ammonium and with a salinity of 3% is usually generated during the production of methane gas and iodine in the gas field of Chiba Prefecture, Japan. In this study, one swim-bed reactor, packed with a novel acrylic fiber biomass carrier (Biofringe), was applied to the partial nitritation treatment of this kind of underground brine waste. A stable nitrite production rate of 1.6 kg NO₂-N m⁻³ d⁻¹ was obtained under a nitrogen loading rate of 3.0 kg-N m⁻³ d⁻¹, at a pH of 7.5 and a temperature of 25 °C. Nitrate production was negligible and the effluent NO₂-N/NO x -N ratio was above 98% due to the successful inhibition of nitrite-oxidizing bacterial activity. Free ammonia was considered to be the main factor for inhibiting the activity of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria. A microbial community shift was demonstrated by 16S rRNA analysis, and it was shown that the ammonium-oxidizing bacteria became the predominant species after successful nitrite accumulation was observed.