Project

Effect of environmental key factors on N2O reduction

Publisher

Supervisor

Location

Greater Copenhagen area

Atmospheric concentrations of nitrous oxide (N2O) are increasing at alarming rates. The ongoing accumulation of N2O in the atmosphere (~0.3% per year) is of great concern because it contributes to global warming (~300 times stronger than CO2) and destruction of stratospheric ozone. Measurements at full-scale wastewater treatment plants and lab-scale bioreactors indicate that N2O can be produced in significant amounts from biological nitrogen removal operations.

One way to mitigate N2O emissions is to enhance microbial N2O reduction to N2 during wastewater treatment. Nitrous oxide is produced via two different reactions by aerobic ammonium-oxidizing microbes (NH4+ to NO2-): 1) the oxidation of NH2OH to N2O (the hydroxylamine pathway) or 2) the reduction of NO2- to N2O (the nitrifier-denitrification pathway). Only in heterotrophic denitrification N2O is produced as an intermediate during the reduction of NO3- or NO2- to N2. Recently, another potential microbial sink of N2O was discovered, i.e. non-denitrifying N2O reducers. Both denitrifying and obligate N2O reducing bacteria carry the enzyme nosZ, which is involved in the reduction of N2O to N2, however, the clades are phylogenetically distinct.

The specific aims of the project could be:

  1. Cultivate a set of denitrifying and obligate N2O reducing enrichment cultures and type strains

  2. Quantify N2O reduction rates by denitrifying bacteria, carrying typical nosZ genes, and obligate N2O reducers, carrying atypical nosZ genes

  3. Quantify the effect of central environmental factors, especially oxygen and pH, on N2O consumption

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Contact

Company / Organization

DTU Miljø

Name

Barth F. Smets

Position

Professor

Mail

bfsm@env.dtu.dk

Supervisor info

MSc in Environmental Engineering

Supervisor

Barth F. Smets

Co-supervisors

Marlene Mark Jensen

ECTS credits

15 - 60

Type

Final project, BSc project, MSc thesis

Miljø

Supervisor

Barth F. Smets

Co-supervisors

Marlene Mark Jensen

ECTS credits

15 - 60

Type

Final project, BSc project, MSc thesis

BSc in Environmental Engineering

Supervisor

Barth F. Smets

Co-supervisors

Marlene Mark Jensen

ECTS credits

15 - 60

Type

Final project, BSc project, MSc thesis

Technical University of Denmark

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