Inhibitory impact of quinone-like compounds over partial nitrification

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High-strength ammonium wastewaters containing phenolic compounds are generated by several industries. A possible solution for these industrial wastewaters could be the combination of an advanced oxidation process with a biological nitrogen removal process via nitrite. Therefore, knowledge of the interactions between both treatment steps is needed, in particular for the potential inhibitory effect of quinone-like intermediates from the oxidation of phenolic compounds (hydroquinone, catechol and p-benzoquinone) over partial nitrification.In this sense, the aim of this work was to study the impact of quinone-like compounds over an activated sludge enriched in ammonium-oxidising bacteria (AOB) by means of respirometry and titrimetry. The results show that nitrification was progressively inhibited as quinone-like compounds concentration was increased, with IC50 values at 1h of exposure time of 3.1±0.5, 11±1 and 2.8±0.4mgL-1 for hydroquinone, catechol and p-benzoquinone, respectively. Also, it was established that exposure time between quinone-like compounds and the enriched AOB sludge was a crucial factor when dealing with inhibition. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-480
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010


  • Advanced oxidation process
  • Nitrification inhibition
  • Partial nitrification
  • Quinone-like compounds
  • Respirometry
  • Titrimetry


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