Controlling N2O emissions from innovative N removal processes



This doctoral research focuses on the quantification and remediation of greenhouse gas (N2O) formation during biological nitrogen removal processes.

Particular attention is paid to innovative biological nitrogen removal techniques based on ammonium oxidation to nitrite, while further oxidation to nitrate is prevented.  Their application is studied to wastewater streams with a high ammonium load, such as reject water originating from (sludge) digestion, manure... The optimization of biological nitrogen removal processes aims at optimal process performance and at the same time minimizing N2O emissions.

Research objectives

  • Quantification of N2O emissions from innovative N-removal processes
  • Development and refinement of monitoring methods
  • Set-up of mathematical models to describe N2O formation and emission
  • Application of these models for process optimization through simulation


  • Modelling and simulation
  • Full-scale monitoring


wastewater treatment; biological nitrogen removal;  partial nitritation; greenhouse gasses (N2O)

Project administration

Researcher: Kris Mampaey

Funding: Ghent University

Project duration: 01.03.2009 - 28.02.2015