The combined effect of dissolved oxygen and nitrite on N2O production by ammonia oxidizing bacteria in an enriched nitrifying sludge

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-36
Journal / PublicationWater Research
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


Both nitrite (NO2-) and dissolved oxygen (DO) play important roles in nitrous oxide (N2O) production by ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB). However, few studies focused on the combined effect of them on N2O production by AOB as well as the corresponding mechanisms. In this study, N2O production by an enriched nitrifying sludge, consisting of both AOB and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB), was investigated under various NO2- and DO concentrations. At each investigated DO level, both the biomass specific N2O production rate and the N2O emission factor (the ratio between N2O nitrogen emitted and the ammonium nitrogen converted) increased as NO2- concentration increased from 3mgN/L to 50mgN/L. However, at each investigated NO2- level, the maximum biomass specific N2O production rate occurred at DO of 0.85mgO2/L, while the N2O emission factor decreased as DO increased from 0.35 to 3.5mgO2/L. The analysis of the process data using a mathematical N2O model incorporating both the AOB denitrification and hydroxylamine (NH2OH) oxidation pathways indicated that the contribution of AOB denitrification pathway increased as NO2- concentration increased, but decreased as DO concentration increased, accompanied by a corresponding change in the contribution of NH2OH oxidation pathway to N2O production. The AOB denitrification pathway was predominant in most cases, with the NH2OH oxidation pathway making a comparable contribution only at high DO level (e.g. 3.5mgO2/L). © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • Ammonia oxidizing bacteria, Dissolved oxygen, Model, Nitrite, Nitrous oxide, Pathway

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