Experiments have been performed to gain an understanding of the conditions and processes governing the occurrence of SND in activated sludge systems. Sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) have been operated under controlled conditions using the wastewater from the first anaerobic pond in an abattoir wastewater treatment plant. Under specific circumstances, up to 95% of total nitrogen removal through SND has been found in the system. Carbon source and oxygen concentrations were found to be important process parameters. The addition of acetate as an external carbon source resulted in a significant increase of SND activity in the system. Stepwise change of DO concentration has also been observed in this study. Experiments to determine the effect of the floc size on SND have been performed in order to test the hypothesis that SND is a physical phenomenon, governed by the diffusion of oxygen into the activated sludge flocs. Initial results support this hypothesis but further experimental confirmation is still required.

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