Effluent dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) is problematic in nutrient sensitive surface waters and needs to be reduced to meet demanding total dissolved nitrogen discharge limits. Bioavailable DON (ABDON) is a portion of DON utilized by algae or algae+bacteria, while biodegradable DON (BDON) is a portion of DON decomposable by bacteria. ABDON and BDON in a two-stage trickling filter (TF) wastewater treatment plant was evaluated using three different microalgal species, Selenastrum capricornutum, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Chlorella vulgaris and mixed cultured bacteria. Results showed that up to 80% of DON was bioavailable to algae or algae+bacteria inoculum while up to 60% of DON was biodegradable in all the samples. Results showed that C. reinhardtii and C. vulgaris can be used as a test species the same as S. capricornutum since there were no significant differences among these three algae species based on their ability to remove nitrogen species.
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