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Title: Efficiency of biological treatment affected by high strength of ammonium-nitrogen in leachate and chemical precipitation of ammonium-nitrogen as pretreatment
Authors: Li, Xiang-zhong
Zhao, Q. L.
Subjects: Ammonium-nitrogen
Landfill leachate
Chemical precipitation
Magnesium ammonium phosphate
Issue Date: Jul-2001
Publisher: Pergamon (Elsevier)
Source: Chemosphere, July 2001, v. 44, no. 1, p. 37-43.
Abstract: Leachate samples with a high strength of ammonium-nitrogen (NH₄⁺-N) were collected from a local landfill site in Hong Kong. Two experiments were carried out to study (1) the inhibition of microbial activity of activated sludge by NH₄⁺-N and (2) the chemical precipitation of NH₄⁺-N from leachate as a preliminary treatment prior to the activated sludge process. The experimental results demonstrated that the efficiency of COD removal decreased from 97.7% to 78.1%, and the dehydrogenase activity of activated sludge decreased from 9.29 to 4.93 μg TF/mg MLSS, respectively, when the NH₄⁺-N concentration increased from 53 to 800 mg/l. The experiment also demonstrated that the NH₄⁺-N in the leachate can be quickly precipitated as MgNH₄PO₄·6H₂O↓ after addition of MgCl₂·6H₂O+Na₂HPO₄·12H₂O. The NH₄⁺-N concentration was reduced from 5 618 to 112 mg/l within 15 min when a molar ratio of Mg²⁺:NH₄⁺:PO₄³⁻=1:1:1 was used. The optimum pH to reach the minimum solubility of MgNH₄PO₄·6H₂O↓ was found to be in the range of 8.5–9.0. Attention should be given to the high salinity formed in the treated leachate by using MgCl₂·6H₂O+Na₂HPO₄·12H₂O, which may affect microbial activity in the following biological treatment processes. Using two other combinations of chemicals [MgO+85%H₃PO₄ and Ca(H₂PO₄)₂·H₂O+MgSO₄·7H₂O] could minimise salinity generation after precipitation, while they were less efficient for NH₄⁺-N removal.
Rights: Chemosphere © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. The journal web site is located at
Type: Journal/Magazine Article
DOI: 10.1016/S0045-6535(00)00382-9
ISSN: 0045-6535
Appears in Collections:CEE Journal/Magazine Articles

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