The aim of the present study was to investigate the nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from a moving bed based Integrated Fixed Film Activated Sludge (IFAS) - membrane bioreactor (MBR) pilot plant, designed according to the University of Cape Town (UCT) layout. The experimental campaign had a duration of 110 days and was characterized by three different sludge retention time (SRT) values (∞, 30 d and 15 d). Results highlighted that N2O concentrations decreased when the biofilm concentrations increased within the aerobic reactor. Results have shown an increase of N2O with the decrease of SRT. Specifically, an increase of N2O-N emission factor occurred with the decrease of the SRT (0.13%, 0.21% and 0.76% of influent nitrogen for SRT = ∞, SRT = 30 d and SRT = 15 d, respectively). Moreover, the MBR tank resulted the key emission source (up to 70% of the total N2O emission during SRT = ∞ period) whereas the highest N2O production occurred in the anoxic reactor. Moreover, N2O concentrations measured in the permeate flow were not negligible, thus highlighting its potential detrimental contribution for the receiving water body. The role of each plant reactor as N2O-N producer/consumer varies with the SRT variation, indeed the aerobic reactor was a N2O consumer at SRT = ∞ and a producer at SRT = 30 d.
Journal of Environmental Management – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 2017
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