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Bioprocess Biosyst Eng. 2003 Jan;25(4):249-53. Epub 2002 Nov 26.

Effect of carbon dioxide on nitrification rates.

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Universität Essen, FB 10 Abfallwirtschaft und Siedlungswasserwirtschaft, Universitätsstrasse 15, 45141 Essen, Germany.


Lab-scale ideal mixed, aerated reactors were employed to test the influence of carbon dioxide (CO(2)) on the growth rate of a nitrifier community. The buffer medium used did not contain any carbon sources. Reactors were inoculated alternatively with sludge from a nitrifying membrane assisted bioreactor, reflecting autotrophic material, or with sludge from a plant having denitrification and nitrification steps, which reflects mixed heterotrophic and autotrophic material. CO(2) was added as a gas with the intake air supply. Nitrification rates were related to the CO(2) in the intake air as well as to the total inorganic carbon in the medium. The batch experiments show a relationship between CO(2) concentration and growth rate. The optimum growth rate occurred at 5 mg CO(2)/L, corresponding to 0.4% (V/V) CO(2) in the inlet air. Different CO(2) optima for autotrophic and mixed sludges were found. In the case of the autotrophic sludge, the observed optimum growth rate was about 0.47/d and the optimum for the mixed sludge was about 0.75/d. Higher CO(2) concentrations lead to a decreasing growth rate. The first part of the kinetic graph can be described by Monod kinetics. Overall, the resulting graph can be described by Haldane kinetics.

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