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Impact of the addition of a nitrifying activated sludge on ammonia oxidation during composting of residual household wastes

Abstract : Aims: To investigate the nitrogen-microbial community dynamics during composting of a mixture of nitrifying waste activated sludge (WAS) and fine organic fraction of residual household waste (RHW). To examine whether the addition of nitrifying sludge could promote ammonia oxidation and reduce ammonia emissions. Methods and Results: The fine organic fraction of RHW was mixed with the WAS and homogenized. The mixture and each waste alone were loaded in aerobic cells under controlled conditions, respectively. Both nitrogen and microbial community dynamics were monitored during 50 days of composting. The ammonia oxidizers were quantified and identified in the sludge and compost. The changes in ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) concentrations corresponded to the ammonia oxidation rates calculated from nitrogen balance. The addition of WAS did not efficiently reduce ammonia emissions because the Nitrosomonas oligotropha-like AOB introduced declined during the active stage of composting. Ammonia oxidation was probably limited by the intense heterotrophic activities at the active stage. Nitrosomonas europaea/eutropha and Nitrosomonas nitrosa-like AOB were established only during the maturation stage. They were the main contributors to ammonia oxidation during composting. Conclusions: The mixing of nitrifying WAS with the RHW during the early stages of composting does not promote ammonia oxidation nor reduce ammonia emissions because of limiting biologic factors during the active stage of composting. Significance and Impact of the Study: The mixing of activated sludge with RHW before composting is a common practice on composting plants. This study proved the limitation of this practice to reduce ammonia emissions during composting via bioaugmentation of ammonia-oxidizing organisms. It correlated successfully the ammonia oxidation rate with different groups of ammonia oxidizers and explains the fail of promoting ammonia oxidation during the early stages of composting. It suggests Nit. europaea/eutropha and Nit. nitrosa-like AOB were the main contributors to ammonia oxidation during composting.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02601029
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Submitted on : Saturday, May 16, 2020 - 5:51:56 AM
Last modification on : Friday, November 27, 2020 - 3:54:03 PM

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Y. Zeng, P. Dabert, S. Le Roux, J. Mognol, F.J. de Macedo, et al.. Impact of the addition of a nitrifying activated sludge on ammonia oxidation during composting of residual household wastes. Journal of Applied Microbiology, Wiley, 2014, 117 (6), pp.1674-1688. ⟨10.1111/jam.12651⟩. ⟨hal-02601029⟩

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