The principal aim of this paper is to develop and evaluate an approach to obtain nitrogen removal bypassing nitrate. The method is based on the addition of sodium chloride (NaCl), selective inhibitor of nitrite oxidizers, to influent. Validation of the new method was conducted on laboratory-scale experiments applying the SBR activated sludge process to domestic wastewater with low C/N ratio. With the aerobic–anoxic sequence, three parallel SBRs achieving complete nitrification–denitrification are dosed by a certain concentration of NaCl to influent. The high nitrite accumulation, depending on the salinity in the influent and the application duration of salt, was obtained in SBRs treating saline wastewater. Optimum dosage and application duration of salt, which interact to determine the performance and stabilization of nitrite accumulation, were determined by experiment. In order to evaluate the method, the response of the biological treatment system to salt concentration was also explored. The repeatability of the method was further verified under various operational conditions. Microbial population tests supported the presumption that nitrite oxidizers are inhibited by salt addition and washed out of the system. The presented method is valuable to offer a solution to realize nitrogen removal via nitrite under normal conditions.

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