PH-gradient real-time aeration control for nitritation community selection in a non-porous hollow fiber membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) with dilute wastewater

Po Heng Lee, Samuel F. Cotter, Silvia C. Reyes Prieri, Dinu Attalage, Shihwu Sung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Nitritation (ammonium to nitrite) as a pre-treatment of Anammox (anaerobic ammonium oxidation) is a key step for an energy-efficient nitrogen-removal alternative from dilute wastewaters, e.g. anaerobically-treated sewage, with which limited study has achieved sustainable nitritation at ambient temperature and short hydraulic retention times. To this end, pH-gradient real-time aeration control in an oxygen-based membrane biofilm reactor was observed at 20°C in the sequencing batch mode. An optimum oxygen supply via diffusion for ammonium-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) was established, but nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) could be inhibited. The system achieved nitrite accumulation efficiencies varying from 88% to 94% with the aeration control. Mass balance and rate performance analyses indicate that this aeration control is able to supply an oxygen rate of 1.5mol O2mol-1ammonium fed, the benchmark oxygenation rate based on stoichiometry for nitritation community selection. Microbial analyses confirmed AOB prevalence with NOB inhibition under this aeration control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2320-2325
Number of pages6
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013


  • Anammox
  • Membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR)
  • Nitritation
  • Non-porous hollow fiber membrane
  • Real-time aeration control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)

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