The sequencing batch reactor (SBR) process concept was applied to achieve efficient ammonium removal via nitrite under both laboratory and pilot-scale conditions. Both sets of experimental results show that without pH control or carbon addition the nitritation process consistently converted approximately 50% of the ammonium from biosolids dewatering liquids to nitrite with hydraulic retention times (HRT) as short as 10 h. The results from the pilot-scale study also indicate that the selective oxidation of ammonium to nitrite is a reliable process as the accumulation of nitrate was never an issue during a 330-day trial. The SBR process concept was extended to achieve complete nitrogen removal through nitritation and denitritation in the laboratory scale. The experimental results indicate that a total reduction of 96-98% of the ammonium nitrogen from biosolids dewatering liquids (influent concentration typically 1,200 g m-3 ) was achieved with a short HRT of 1.1 d and a removal rate of 1.05 kgNm-3d-1. This process concept was tested at pilot scale where the nitritation process could be started up without temperature control in a short period of time. Nitrogen removal rates up to 1.2 kgNm-3d-1 at an HRT of 0.88 d have been obtained. COD to nitrogen ratios required in the pilot plant were consistently in the range 1.6-1.9 kgCOD kg-1N removed.

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