Glossary



Nitrogen

Nitrogen is a colorless, odorless and non-flammable gas and with 78% the main constituent of the air in the atmosphere.

Nitrogen occurs in the wastewater as an inorganic and organic compound. Biological processes break down organic nitrogen compounds into inorganic nitrogen compounds.

In the waste water technology the total inorganic nitrogen is an important parameter. This parameter contains ammonium nitrogen (NH4-N) and its oxidation products nitrite nitrogen (NO2-N) and nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N).

Ammonium and nitrate have no toxic effect but can be converted into harmful nitrite. In addition, increasing ammonia in the receiving water leads to a higher consumption of dissolved oxygen due to naturally occurring oxidation of ammonia and, thus, to a higher risk for the biological balance.


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