Main content area

The ammonium nitrogen oxidation process in horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands

Zhang, Lieyu, Xia, Xunfeng, Zhao, Ying, Xi, Beidou, Yan, Yanan, Guo, Xin, Xiong, Ying, Zhan, Jianhong
Ecological engineering 2011 v.37 no.11 pp. 1614-1619
Phragmites australis, ammonium nitrogen, constructed wetlands, dissolved oxygen, nitrification, nitrites, nitrogen, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, oxidation, pH, plant density, planting, subsurface flow, temperature
The ammonium nitrogen oxidation process (ANOP) is the first and most important step for nitrogen removal in constructed wetlands (CWs). The process was investigated by observing the products generated from the ANOP in on-site aerobic systems with selective inhibition of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) through appropriate regulation of the pH, temperature and dissolved oxygen concentrations. The effects of season, plant type and density on ANOP were also studied to determine the optimal conditions for the ANOP. Nitrite accumulation was found in the aerobic experiments and greater ammonia-oxidizing bacteria than NOB numbers, showing that partial nitrification to nitrite was occurring in the studied CWs. The nitrogen removal rate was positively linearly correlated with the nitrite accumulation rate, and so the more NH₃-N removed by ANOP, the greater the resulting nitrogen removal. Season and plant density had a significant effect on the ANOP. However, there were no significant differences between the units planted with common reed and cattail.