In the first stage, the feasibility of using the waste materials from coal power plants (i.e., coal slag) and landscapes (i.e., wood chip and compost) as packing media in various biofiltration systems for ammonia (NH3) removal was investigated. In the second stage, the optimized biotrickling system packed with coal slag was employed to investigate the effects of inlet concentration on NH3 treatment performance. A complete NH3 removal was achieved at concentrations of up to 250 ppm at an empty bed retention time of as low as 8 s, which is shorter than most previously reported biofiltration systems. Results of metabolic product analysis indicated that half of introduced NH3 was oxidized to nitrate and the rest was converted to ammonium ion at low loadings, while nitrite and ammonium ions predominate at high loadings. A bacterial community shift was observed with regard to the loading rates and pH conditions. In addition, there were no common operating problems, such as clogging and compaction, in the operation for more than 1 year.
Part of the book: Nitrification and Denitrification