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Treatment of effluents from ammonia plants part 4 denitrification of an inorganic effluent from a nitrogen chemicals complex using methanol as carbon source



Treatment of effluents from ammonia plants part 4 denitrification of an inorganic effluent from a nitrogen chemicals complex using methanol as carbon source



Water S A (Pretoria) 3(3): 142-154



Denitrification [bacterial] of an inorganic effluent containing approximately 2800 mg .cntdot. l-1 NO3-N can be reliably carried out over a wide range temperature range (10-31.degree. C) using methanol as C source in a continuous stirred tank reactor. Sludge age is the controlling factor and this varies from a minimum of 3.6-3.8 days at 28 C to 45-50 days at 10.degree. C. Methods for achieving high sludge ages (while still retaining low hydraulic retention times) involved separation of the biomass in the effluent by centrifugation and return of solids or retention of biomass in the reactor by use of suspending media, such as diatomaceous earth, in the reactor. The experimental yield obtained for methanol ranged between 0.18-0.22 g biomass .cntdot. g-1 methanol. pH plays an important role and a value of 7.2-7.4 was selected to avoid formation of free ammonia, which inhibits significantly, H2S generation must be avoided when operating at very low nitrate-N values in the effluent, because this compound is toxic and cannot be controlled by pH alone.

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