The biological reduction of ammonia using bioremediation ( microbes) .
Nitrification is the biological or biochemical process in which ammonia is oxidized to nitrite, and nitrite oxidized to nitrate and requires low BOD/COD levels in high dissolve oxygen concentrations. Nitrifying bacteria facilitate the nitrogen cycle.
True nitrifying bacteria are considered to be those belonging to the family Nitrobacteraceae.
These nitrifying bacteria are strictly aerobic, gram-negative, chemolithic autotrophs. They can only use nitrogen from inorganic sources such as ammonia and nitrite.
Nitrosomonas (ammonia-oxidizers- NH3 to NH2) and Nitrobacter (nitrite-oxidizers - NO22 to NO3) are the most common. They require oxygen, utilize mostly inorganic (without carbon) compounds as their energy source, and require carbon dioxide (CO2) for their source of carbon.
In the case of the Nitrobacteraceae, these energy sources are derived from the chemical conversion of ammonia to nitrite, or, nitrite to nitrate.
- Reduces or eliminates loss of aquatic life due to toxic ammonia concentration.
- Reduces or eliminates off-flavor problems.
- Phosphates also can be permanently precipitated or are chelated to bottom sediments
- Effective even at relatively high BOD/COD (under 200 ppm)
- Effective over a wide temperature range (49° F to 149° F).
- Effective over a wide pH range (6.5 to 8.5). Performs best at 7 to 8 pH.
Nitrifiers consume 7.2 ppm of alkalinity for each ppm of ammonia oxidized to nitrate, so adjust alkalinity if necessary to stay within that range.
Nitrifying bacteria provide biological oxidation of ammonia in:
- ornamental koi fish pond
- fish hatchery ponds
- tropical and fish ponds
- ponds and lakes with high numbers of ducks or geese
- ponds and lakes near agricultural run-off
- stormwater retention ponds
- leach fields
- wastewater treatment facilities
- agricultural animal wastes and wastewater effluents - waste pits
True nitrifiers, unlike heterotrophs, are not spore forming and thus cannot be dried into powder products.
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