Free nitrous acid-based nitrifying sludge treatment in a two-sludge system enhances nutrient removal from low-carbon wastewater

Dongbo Wang, Qizi Fu, Qiuxiang Xu, Yiwen Liu, Huu Hao Ngo, Qi Yang, Guangming Zeng, Xiaoming Li, Bing Jie Ni

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68 Citations (Scopus)


A new method to enhance nutrient removal from low carbon-wastewater was developed. The method consists of a two-sludge system (i.e., an anaerobic-anoxic-oxic reactor coupled to a nitrifying reactor (N-SBR)) and a nitrifying-sludge treatment unit using free nitrous acid (FNA). Initially, 65.1 ± 2.9% in total nitrogen removal and 69.6 ± 3.4% in phosphate removal were obtained without nitrite accumulation. When 1/16 of the nitrifying sludge was daily treated with FNA at 1.1 mg N/L for 24 h, ∼28.5% of nitrite was accumulated in the N-SBR, and total nitrogen and phosphate removal increased to 72.4 ± 3.2% and 76.7 ± 2.9%, respectively. About 67.8% of nitrite was accumulated at 1.9 mg N/L FNA, resulting in 82.9 ± 3.8% in total nitrogen removal and 87.9 ± 3.5% in phosphate removal. Fluorescence in-situ hybridization analysis showed that FNA treatment reduced the abundance of nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB), especially that of Nitrospira sp.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)920-928
Number of pages9
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Denitrifying phosphorus removal
  • Free nitrous acid
  • Low-carbon domestic wastewater
  • Nitrite accumulation
  • Nutrient removal

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