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Feasability of using artificially immobilized nitrifying bacteria for waste water treatment at low temperatures


To develop a rational design of a continuous reaction system with immobilized nitrifying bacteria that features high rate conversion capabilities at low temperatures.

Know how on biomass cultivation and immobilization methods will be supplied. Experiments concerning free cell kinetics at low temperatures, immobilized cell kinetics and immobilized cell reactor performance will be performed and a mathematical model which describes the performance of the immobilized cell reactor will be developed.

Extensive expertise is available concerning 4 fields which are immediately relevant to the present research proposal: immobilization, denitrification and nitrification, airlift reactors, and mathematical modelling. Research on each of these subjects has resulted in several scientific publications and reviews.
Techniques were developed to immobilize either plant or animal cells, yeasts, bacteria, or enzymes into gel beads of variable but homogeneous dimensions.
Kinetic characteristics of relevant microorganisms (eg Nitrosomonas, Nitrobacter) were determined.
Airlift reactors were extensively characterized with respect to hydrodynamic behaviour, mass transfer and mixing.
A general bioprocess modelling expertise is available, which has been applied to each of the aforementioned fields.

Specific objectives are :
development and validation of mathematical dynamic model;
description of bacterial kinetics of nitrifying organisms at low temperatures;
to judge feasibility of practical low temperature nitrification from a fundamental understanding of the process, as obtained from the project;
providing a fundamental background for future research (ie rational design of a pilot reactor in Norway for low temperature nitrification).

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Landbouwuniversiteit Wageningen
6700 HB Wageningen

Participants (1)

Norwegian Institute for Water Research
0808 Oslo