Nitrous oxide production by nitrifying biofilms in a biofilm airlift suspension reactor

J. M. Garrido, J. L. Campos, R. Méndez, J. M. Lema

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


A nitrifying biofilm airlift suspension (BAS) reactor was operated at an ammonia loading rate (ALR) of 5 kg N-NH4+/m3.d, obtaining ammonia conversions of 99%. Neither denitrification nor nitrous oxide production was detected when a suitable carbon source was not present in the system over a long experimental period. However, in the presence of organic matter coming from biofilm hydrolysis or added in the influent nitrous oxide production was found. The addition of 55 mg/l formaldehyde to the influent produced rises in the nitrous oxide production of up to 2 kg N-N2O/m3.d. Nitrogen balance showed that nitrous oxide was the sole or major product of denitrification in the system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-163
Number of pages7
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1996 IAWQ 3rd International Specialised Conference on Biofilm Systems - Copenhagen, Den
Duration: 27 Aug 199630 Aug 1996


  • Airlift reactor
  • Denitrification
  • Formaldehyde
  • Nitrifying biofilm
  • Nitrous oxide


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