The aerobic systems have been the most widely biological treatment used for municipal and industrial wastewater but show serious problem with sludge sedimentation, high energy demand and microbial inhibition. On the other hand, the anaerobic digestion (AD) of wastewater is considered the best alternative to remove the organic compounds and to recover energy via methane production. Nevertheless, AD has a problem: the treatment of industrial wastewater with high organic nitrogen content reaches high free ammonia (NH3) concentrations due to the protein degradation. NH3 inhibits the methanogenic process and is toxic to the environment, and then, it must be removed before its final disposition. Several physicochemical processes have been evaluated for the recovery or/and treatment of ammonium from wastewater. The most frequent treatments are gas stripping and magnesium ammonium phosphate precipitation. These methods are effective, but they are very expensive compared to biological treatments. Moreover, these techniques usually require more power consumption than the biological process. The technologies based on partial nitrification and Anammox (PN‐A) are the ones with better performance. Thus, this chapter mainly focuses on biological processes based on AD, denitrification and PN‐A for the removal of carbon and nitrogen from industrial wastewater with recovery of energy and water.
Part of the book: Nitrification and Denitrification