Project #1509

Uptake by Algae of Dissolved Organic Nitrogen from BNR Treatment Plant Effluents

Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Dr. Amit Pramanik
HDR, Inc.
Advanced Treatment
Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR)


This research is based on the premise that a credible and professionally accepted method to measure forms of DON that are not readily taken up by algae can be used by wastewater treatment plant operators and regulators to more effectively understand and control eutrophication. The method developed demonstrated that recalcitrant or very slowly reactive forms of DON can be separated from the bioavailable effluent DON with an XAD-8 resin cartridge based on the different hydrophobicity of these two fractions of DON. Samples taken from 10 different BNR facilities indicated that all these effluents contained a recalcitrant DON fraction, and that the hydrophobic effluent DON compounds are not readily available for algae consumption with retention times of up to about 20 days. Published by WERF. 62 pages. Online PDF. (2013)

Originally funded as WERF project NUTR1R06e.