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Perspective for Emission and Control of Nitrous Gas in Biological Wastewater Treatment

Y. Q. Liu1, X. J. Chen1*, and H. F. Wang2

  1. Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainable Communities, 240, 2 Research Drive, Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 7H9, Canada
  2. HSBC Bank Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3P 0Y4, Canada

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 3063378537. E-mail address: (X. J. Chen).


Being the third most significant anthropogenic greenhouse gas, nitrous gas (N2O) has 300-fold stronger effect than carbon dioxide (CO2) and 4 ~ 30-fold stronger effect than methane (CH4). In this study, the main sources and mechanisms of N2O emission from biological wastewater treatment were reviewed, and the possible mitigation strategies were discussed. Parameters including dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, organic carbon, and nitrite concentration have influences on the emission of N2O. The possible mitigation strategies were put forward by controlling these parameters in biological wastewater treatment and inducing modified technologies such as simultaneous nitrification-denitrification, denitrifying phosphorus removal, and aerobic granular sludge. In order to obtain a near-zero N2O emission, applying typical catalysts in the nitrification or denitrification tank to decompose N2O into harmless gas is recommended. Moreover, a method of developing photochemical processes to transform N2O could also be suggested.

Keywords: Nitrous gas, biological wastewater treatment, N2O emission mitigation

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