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Chemosphere. 2004 Nov;57(8):1017-29.

Nitrification in natural waters with high suspended-solid content--a study for the Yellow River.

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School of Environmental, Beijing Normal University/State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, Beijing 100875, China.


In this research, the mechanism regarding the effects of suspended solids on nitrification in freshwater systems with high solid contents was examined. Experimental studies were conducted for natural water of the Yellow River under laboratory conditions. Nitrification kinetics was investigated in water systems with various levels of suspended-solid contents. The associated mechanisms were analyzed through investigation of the adsorption-desorption of ammonium nitrogen, the process of bacteria growth, and the feature of nitrification kinetics. The results indicated that the presence of suspended solids could accelerate the nitrification process. The nitrification rate would increase non-linearly with the increase of suspended-solid content. When the initial concentration of ammonia nitrogen was 12.70 mg/l in the water system, the ratios of half-time duration for nitrification would be 1.88:1.23:1 under suspended-solid contents of 0, 1.84 and 5.00 g/l, respectively. When the initial concentration of ammonia nitrogen was around 1.0 mg/l in the water system, the nitrification rates in systems with suspended-solid contents of 1.81 and 3.42 g/l would then be approximately 9 and 12 times that without suspended solids, respectively. The populations of nitrifying bacteria would rise with increasing suspended-solid content. The existence of suspended solids would increase the contact chances between bacteria and nitrogen, resulting in accelerated nitrification processes; this was manifested by the increased K(4) (tau(max)/K(S)) along with the raised suspended-solid contents while fitting nitrification kinetics with the growth-based logistic model. Since the amount of ammonium nitrogen adsorbed on suspended-solid surface was non-linearly proportional to the suspended-solid content, the nitrification rate was also non-linearly proportional to the suspended-solid content.

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