AMMONIA REMOVAL in Wastewater Treatment Applications with BIOBUG® NB from BIO-SYSTEMS International

BIOBUG® NB is the preferred nitrification product used in newly commissioned or seasonally operated plants, and for reseeding plants when adverse biochemical conditions limit /stop nitrification and plants with a history of inconsistent performance
By: Marilyn A. Peacock
May 28, 2009 - PRLog -- BIOBUG® NB is a bacterial powdered Nitrification product offered by BIO-SYSTEMS International Corporation based in Beloit, Wisconsin, for Ammonia Removal/Reduction.  BIOBUG® NB is just one of the many quality BIO-SYSTEMS bacterial products in the BIOBUG® Series.

BIOBUG® NB contains a special blend of microorganisms to provide a consistent seed of both types of nitrifiers for ammonia conversion.

The nitrifying bacteria are composed of two groups; Nitrosomonas spp. and Nitrobacter spp.  The Nitrosomonas spp. convert ammonia to nitrite and the Nitrobacter spp. convert the nitrite to nitrate. Nitrifying bacteria are autotrophic (able to use carbon dioxide as the sole source of carbon) and are relatively slow growing. Typical doubling times may be 8 to 16 hours. They are also highly oxygen sensitive, requiring relatively high aerobic conditions for maximum growth rates. Variations in pH, temperature, and the concentrations of organic material also influence the activity and growth rates of nitrifying bacteria. As a result the nitrifying population of many wastewater facilities is frequently destroyed or washed out of the system because of its inability to competitively reproduce at a sufficient rate.

BIOBUG® NB, by utilizing selected strains of both Nitrosomonas spp. and Nitrobacter spp. it has been possible to adapt the bacterial cultures to function over a wider range of pH values than those normally encountered in the nitrifying population. Similar adaptation and selection techniques have been employed to increase the toxic threshold limiting concentrations of ammonia, nitrate and nitrite which may inhibit the growth of these extremely sensitive microorganisms.  BIOBUG® NB has demonstrated the ability to remove ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Nitrification and de nitrification are the processes by which nitrogen is cycled within an aquatic ecosystem.  Nitrification is an aerobic process where ammonia nitrogen is oxidized to nitrate.  Two organisms are primarily responsible for nitrification in aquatic systems.  The organism Nitrosomonas is responsible for the conversion of NH3 to NO2.  NO2 is then converted to NO3 by the organism Nitrobacter.  These organisms have specific requirements for successful nitrification in waste treatment systems.

Ammonia Removal: The Nitrification Process

Nitrosomonas, nitrobacter, and nitrosococcus bacteria are commonly found in the soil and in  water that can easily wash into wastewater treatment plant (WWTPs). However, for WWTPs that loose nitrification or struggle with nitrification issues (during drought conditions, or in areas with deep permafrost where the naturally-occurring availability of these organisms may be limited).  BIOBUG® NB provides the perfect blend of Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter cultures.

They generally grow as single cells but may be held together by slime. They are extremely sensitive to changes in their environment and die off because acute toxicity is common.

Factors Which May Affect Nitrification

•  pH: 7.5 - 8.5 is preferred. Nitrifiers use ammonia best in this pH range as ammonia is not ionized. Nitrifiers have the ability to adapt to changes in pH, but sudden changes in pH are toxic to their presence.

•  Oxygen: Nitrification requires 8 pounds of oxygen for pound of ammonia. A dissolved oxygen of at least 1.0 ppm is recommended although an oxygen level down to 0.5 ppm may still work.

•  Heavy metals: Nitrifiers may be limited in industrial situations where frequent or accidental discharges of metals happen.

•  Age: Nitrifiers prefer a higher sludge age and increased contact time.

•  Plant design: Nitrification effectiveness is also a function of plant design, capacities, efficiency, and plant operation.

BIOBUG® NB is the non-refrigerated version of BIO-SYSTEMS' NS and is manufactured both in our Beloit WI and UK facilities.  For more information go to

Case History 824

The data and observations indicate that the treatment plant in this Case History, did not historically achieve nitrification on a regular basis.  BIOBUG® NB reduces the frequency and levels of chemical spikes, thereby enabling the nitrifier organisms to function at a lower inhibition level.  During the addition of BIOBUG® NB to the treatment plant, the degree of nitrification increased significantly due to the reduced presence of inhibitory compounds and enhanced rate of nitrifier growth encouraged by the BIOBUG® NB.
The performance of the plant during the addition of BIOBUG® NB is better than previously experienced with respect to nitrification.

Case History 1002

An Indiana municipal treatment facility treating approximately 2 mgd lost the ability to remove ammonia due to a spill of toxic material.  This occurred at the worst time for recovering ammonia removal, in the middle of February.  On February 18th they added 30 lbs. of BIOBUG® NB directly to the aeration basin.  Within two days the treatment plant was in compliance for ammonia.

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BIO-SYSTEMS International Corporation was established in 1985 and is Family owned and operated. BIO-SYSTEMS is ISO 9001:2000 Certificed and Ecologo Approved.

BIO-SYSTEMS manufactures and packages bacterial products for the treatment of wastewater, in Commercial, Industrial, Municipal and Residential applications worldwide.

BIO-SYSTEMS International Corporation has its head office is at 2885 Bartells Drive, Beloit, Wisconsin 53511.
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Phone:608 365 9550
Tags:Wastewater, Biobug, Ammonia, Aerobic, Nitrite, Organic, Bacteria, Environment, Nitrosomas, Nitrobacter
Location:Beloit - Wisconsin - United States
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