Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Improved simultaneous nitrification and denitrification in a single reactor by using two different immobilization carriers with specific oxygen transfer characteristics

  • 158 Accesses

  • 13 Citations


To maximize nitrogen utilization rates during nitrification and denitrification in a simultaneous reaction for direct nitrogen removal from ammonia–nitrogen in a single reactor, two different carriers were applied that immobilized nitrifiers and denitrifiers separately. With the optimized DO concentration and mixing ratio of immobilization carriers, ammonium–nitrogen was successfully removed as designed until the middle phase of treatment where nitrogen removal rate was higher than 83% of the theoretical value, although an imbalance between nitrification and denitrification occurred at a later phase of treatment where residual nitrate–nitrogen concentration was less than 2 mg/l. The new approach using two different carriers to immobilize nitrifiers and denitrifiers separately was proved useful for controlling both nitrification and denitrification rates, enabling the utilization of maximum treatment ability of both nitrifiers and denitrifiers in a single reactor for direct nitrogen removal from ammonium–nitrogen.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1a, b
Fig. 2
Fig. 3a–c


  1. 1.

    Wiesmann U (1994) Biological nitrogen removal from wastewater. Adv Biochem Eng Biotechnol 51:114–154

  2. 2.

    Masuda S, Watanabe Y, Ishigoro M (1991) Biofilm properties and simultaneous nitrification and denitrification in aerobic rotating biological contactors. Water Sci Technol 23:1355–1363

  3. 3.

    Dos Santos VMPM, Bruijnse M, Tramper J, Wijffels RH (1996) The magic-beads concept: an integrated approach to nitrogen removal with co-immobilized microorganisms. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 45:447–453

  4. 4.

    Kokufuta E, Shimohashi M, Nakamura I (1988) Simultaneously occurring nitrification and denitrification under oxygen gradient by polyelectrolyte complex-coimmobilized Nitrosomonas europaea and Paracoccus denitrificans cells. Biotechnol Bioeng 31:382–384

  5. 5.

    Matsumura M, Yamamoto T, Wang P, Shinabe K, Yasuda K (1997) Rapid nitrification with immobilized cell using macro-porous cellulose carrier. Water Res 31:1027–1034

  6. 6.

    Matsumura M, Tsubota H, Ito O, Wang P, Yasuda K (1997) Development of bioreactors for denitrification with immobilized cells. J Ferment Bioeng 84:144–150

Download references


This work was partially supported by BRAIN (Bio-Oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution), Japan.

Author information

Correspondence to M. Matsumura.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Nakano, K., Iwasawa, H., Ito, O. et al. Improved simultaneous nitrification and denitrification in a single reactor by using two different immobilization carriers with specific oxygen transfer characteristics. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng 26, 141–145 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00449-003-0345-x

Download citation


  • Simultaneous nitrification and denitrification
  • Immobilization
  • Carrier