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Nitrous oxide emission from a moving bed membrane biofilm reactor: the effect of the sludge retention time

  • Authors: Mannina, G.; Capodici, M.; Cosenza, A.; DI TRAPANI, D.
  • Publication year: 2016
  • Type: Proceedings (TIPOLOGIA NON ATTIVA)
  • OA Link:


The aim of the present study was to investigate the nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from a University of Cape Town (UCT) moving bed membrane bioreactor pilot plant. An experimental campaign was carried out during 60 days with three different sludge retention time (SRT). The pilot plant reactor was provided of funnel shape covers that guaranteed gas accumulation in the headspace. The results highlighted that N2O concentrations significantly increased when the biofilm concentrations increased within the aerobic and anoxic compartments. Furthermore, results have shown an increase of N2O with the decrease of SRT. 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.