Unwanted mainstream nitritation–denitritation causing massive N2O emissions in a continuous activated sludge process

IWA Publishing, 2021

Nitrous oxide emissions can contribute significantly to the carbon footprint of municipal wastewater treatment plants even though emissions from conventional nitrogen removal processes are assumed to be moderate. An increased risk for high emissions can occur in connection with process disturbances and nitrite (NO2) accumulation. This work describes the findings at a large municipal wastewater
treatment plant where the levels of NO2 in the activated sludge process effluent were spontaneously and strongly increased on several activated sludge lines which was suspected to be due to shortcut nitrogen removal that stabilized for several months.

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