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Nitrogen oxidation consortia dynamics influence the performance of full-scale rotating biological contactors.

Freeman, D and Bajón Fernández, Y and Wilson, A and McKew, BA and Whitby, C and Clark, DR and Jefferson, B and Coulon, F and Hassard, F (2020) 'Nitrogen oxidation consortia dynamics influence the performance of full-scale rotating biological contactors.' Environment International, 135. ISSN 0160-4120

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Abstract

Ammonia oxidising microorganisms (AOM) play an important role in ammonia removal in wastewater treatment works (WWTW) including rotating biological contactors (RBCs). Environmental factors within RBCs are known to impact the performance of key AOM, such that only some operational RBCs have shown ability for elevated ammonia removal. In this work, long-term treatment performance of seven full-scale RBC systems along with the structure and abundance of the ammonia oxidising bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) communities within microbial biofilms were examined. Long term data showed the dominance of AOB in most RBCs, although two RBCs had demonstrable shift toward an AOA dominated AOM community. Next Generation Sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene revealed diverse evolutionary ancestry of AOB from RBC biofilms while nitrite-oxidising bacteria (NOBs) were similar to reference databases. AOA were more abundant in the biofilms subject to lower organic loading and higher oxygen concentration found at the distal end of RBC systems. Modelling revealed a distinct nitrogen cycling community present within high performing RBCs, linked to efficient control of RBC process variables (retention time, organic loading and oxygen concentration). We present a novel template for enhancing the resilience of RBC systems through microbial community analysis which can guide future strategies for more effective ammonia removal. To best of the author's knowledge, this is the first comparative study reporting the use of next generation sequencing data on microbial biofilms from RBCs to inform effluent quality of small WWTW.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biofilm, Rotating biological contactor, Nitrification, Wastewater treatment, Ammonia oxidising bacteria, Ammonia oxidising archaea
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2020 15:57
Last Modified: 14 May 2020 21:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/27377

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