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Water Res. 2018 Sep 1;140:77-89. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2018.04.036. Epub 2018 Apr 17.

Research on the enhancement of biological nitrogen removal at low temperatures from ammonium-rich wastewater by the bio-electrocoagulation technology in lab-scale systems, pilot-scale systems and a full-scale industrial wastewater treatment plant.

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School of Resources & Civil Engineering, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819, PR China.
School of Resources & Civil Engineering, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819, PR China. Electronic address:


In cold areas, nitrogen removal performance of wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) declines greatly in winter. This paper systematically describes the enhancement effect of a periodic reverse electrocoagulation technology on biological nitrogen removal at low temperatures. The study showed that in the lab-scale systems, the electrocoagulation technology improved the biomass amount, enzyme activity and the amount of nitrogen removal bacteria (Nitrosomonas, Nitrobacter, Paracoccus, Thauera and Enterobacter). This enhanced nitrification and denitrification of activated sludge at low temperatures. In the pilot-scale systems, the electrocoagulation technology increased the relative abundance of cold-adapted microorganisms (Luteimonas and Trueperaceae) at low temperatures. In a full-scale industrial WWTP, comparison of data from winter 2015 and winter 2016 showed that effluent chemical oxygen demand (COD), NH4+-N, and NO3--N reduced by 10.37, 3.84, and 136.43 t, respectively, throughout the winter, after installation of electrocoagulation devices. These results suggest that the electrocoagulation technology is able to improve the performance of activated sludge under low-temperature conditions. This technology provides a new way for upgrading of the performance of WWTPs in cold areas.


Electrocoagulation; Enzyme activity; Full-scale WWTP; Low temperature; Microbial community structure

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