Optimization for the Operational Parameters of the Partial Nitrification in a Fluidized Bed Bioreactor (PNFBR)

Yupan Yun, Jesse Zhu, George Nakhla

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Partial nitrification combined with anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Anammox) process has been recognized as a promising technology for the nitrogen removal in wastewater treatment. This research aimed to focus on how to successfully achieve the partial nitrification in a fluidized bed bioreactor (PNFBR) for the treatment of synthetic wastewater with high ammonia concentration. The influence factors, including dissolved oxygen (DO) levels, free ammonia (FA)/free nitrous acid (FNA) concentration, ambient temperature, influent ammonia concentration, and alkalinity, were investigated to achieve the goal of high nitrite accumulation. Results exhibit that the optimal conditions for the PNFBR was 30 °C with the 7:1 of ratio of alkalinity to influent nitrogen, 1 mg/L of DO concentration, 28 day of SRT, 16.6 day of hydraulic retention time (HRT), and 400 mg/L of influent ammonia concentration. Additionally, at the lower temperature (20 °C), high nitrite accumulation was also attained by increasing the alkalinity (8:1 of ratio of alkalinity to influent nitrogen) in system. Compared with other biofilm system, the PNFBR with the new media mixture of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic and its modified one could achieve the effluent requirements for anammox, with the PNFBR effluent NO2--N:NH4+-N ratio appropriately at 1:1.

Original languageEnglish
Article number71
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Fluidized bed bioreactor
  • Partial nitrification
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution


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