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International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2010, Article ID 914159, 10 pages
Review Article

Nitrogen and Phosphorous Removal in Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants in China: A Review

1Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2State-key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, Beijing 100084, China

Received 15 January 2010; Revised 12 April 2010; Accepted 26 April 2010

Academic Editor: Josiane Nikiema

Copyright © 2010 Yong Qiu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Surface water environment in China was degraded rapidly in the last two decades, resulting in increasingly tighten criteria issued for municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). This paper reviewed the recent advances of process design and operational optimization for nutrients removal. Three major processes, as anaerobic-anoxic-oxic (AAO) process, oxidation ditch (OD), and sequencing batch reactor (SBR) occupied 65% of WWTPs amounts and 54% of treatment volumes of China in 2006. However conservative process designs and operational faults often impaired the process performances and energy efficiency. Therefore, typical processes were modified, combined, and innovated to meet the requirements of the diverse influent characteristics and lower energy consumptions. Furthermore, operational optimization techniques by modeling, simulation, and real-time control were also developed and applied in China to improve the process operation. Although great efforts had been contributed to improve the WWTPs performances in China, attentions should be continuously paid to the introduction, instruction, and implementation of advanced techniques. At last, the technical demands and appropriated techniques of WWTPs in China were briefly discussed.