Nitrification is a two-step biological process in which aerobic bacteria oxidize ammonium to nitrate. Nitrifying bacteria oxidize ammonium ions (NH4+) to nitrite (NO2-) in the first step and then oxidize nitrite to nitrate (NO3-) in the second step.

Wastewater nitrification is a sensitive process and is more easily interrupted than other biological wastewater treatment processes due to the relatively slow growth rate of nitrifying bacteria. This also means recovery from wastewater nitrification upsets can be slow. Frequent sources of wastewater nitrification problems include environmental factors, toxicity, solids washout and loading variation.

Novozymes’ Nitrification Q&A for the Wastewater Industry provides answers to 10 commonly-asked questions related to wastewater nitrification, including:

  • Can all wastewater systems nitrify?
  • How does temperature impact nitrification?
  • What is the optimum pH range for nitrification?

This document is a useful tool for any wastewater operator or personnel seeking to increase their knowledge of wastewater nitrification or wastewater treatment in general.

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