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Recent advances in mathematical modeling of nitrous oxides emissions from wastewater treatment processes

Ni, Bing-Jie, Yuan, Zhiguo
Water research 2015 v.87 pp. 336-346
bacteria, denitrification, denitrifying microorganisms, environmental impact, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, hydroxylamine, mathematical models, nitrous oxide, oxidation, wastewater treatment
Nitrous oxide (N2O) can be emitted from wastewater treatment contributing to its greenhouse gas footprint significantly. Mathematical modeling of N2O emissions is of great importance toward the understanding and reduction of the environmental impact of wastewater treatment systems. This article reviews the current status of the modeling of N2O emissions from wastewater treatment. The existing mathematical models describing all the known microbial pathways for N2O production are reviewed and discussed. These included N2O production by ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) through the hydroxylamine oxidation pathway and the AOB denitrification pathway, N2O production by heterotrophic denitrifiers through the denitrification pathway, and the integration of these pathways in single N2O models. The calibration and validation of these models using lab-scale and full-scale experimental data is also reviewed. We conclude that the mathematical modeling of N2O production, while is still being enhanced supported by new knowledge development, has reached a maturity that facilitates the estimation of site-specific N2O emissions and the development of mitigation strategies for a wastewater treatment plant taking into the specific design and operational conditions of the plant.