School of Environment and Energy, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China; Hua An Biotech Co., Ltd., Foshan 528300, China; The Key Lab of Pollution Control and Ecosystem Restoration in Industry Clusters, Ministry of Education, China. Electronic address: [Email]
How to achieve stable nitrite accumulation was still a huge challenge for low-carbon and energy-saving biological nitrogen removal of low-strength ammonium wastewater. This study proposed a new way to solve this problem with zeolite biological fixed bed (ZBFB) by cycle operation of adsorption and biological desorption. In order to evaluate nitritation performance of this reactor, the influence of operational temperature on nitrite accumulation stability was investigated by 126 cycles operation in four parallel ZBFB reactors for low-strength ammonium wastewater (50 mg/L NH4+-N). It was found that higher operational temperature (i.e., 36.0 °C), rather than other temperature (i.e., 27.0 °C, 30.0 °C, 33.0 °C), could maintain stable nitrite accumulation with nitrite production rate of 0.312 kg NO2--N·m-3 zeolite·day-1 and nitrite accumulation ratio higher than 95.0% after biological desorption. High-throughput sequencing analysis results showed that bacterial structure significantly changed in ZBFB under different operational temperature, and obvious enrichment of genus Nitrosomonas (AOB) and gradually enhanced free ammonia (FA) inhibition on genus Nitrospira and Nitrobacter (NOB) were found by elevation of operational temperature, leading to different nitrite accumulation performance in ZBFB reactors. The mechanism for stable nitrite accumulation performance by ZBFB might be attributed to overwhelming growth rate of AOB than NOB, faster ammonium desorption and enhanced FA inhibition on NOB under operational temperature (i.e., 36.0 °C). All in all, keeping high temperature for biological desorption step should be extremely crucial for stable nitrite accumulation by ZBFB, which could facilitate further low-carbon and energy-saving biological nitrogen removal for low-strength ammonium wastewater treatment.