A SHARON® system has been constructed at the Utrecht WWTP and at the Rotterdam Dokhaven WWTP. In the SHARON® process rejection water from dewatering of digested sludge is treated for N-removal. It concerns a high active process operating without sludge retention. Due to differences in growth rate nitrite oxidisers can be washed out of the system while ammonia oxidisers are maintained, resulting in N-removal over nitrite. The SHARON® process was selected in competition with several other techniques.
The feed of a SHARON® system is concentrated, with ammonia concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 g N/l. The results show that conversion rates of 90% are well possible with N-removal mainly via the nitrite route. The process was shown to be stable. Due to the high ammonium influent concentrations pH control is of great importance, preventing process inhibitions. The acidifying effect of nitrification can be compensated completely by CO2 stripping during aeration and by denitrification. Heat production by biological conversions is significant, due to the high inlet concentrations, and contributes to the optimal operating temperature of 30-40°C.