Nitrogen possesses several benefits to humans. However, just like anything else, when too much enters our body this can be quite harmful. Our article features a brief look at the main process for removing dissolved nitrogen from water.
Quite a considerable amount of us depend on processed water that once came from the sea. Currently, Sea water contains roughly 0.5 ppm of nitrogen and when compared to that of the surface, it is much less. On the other hand, river water contains about 0.25 ppm of nitrogen. And depending on the overall water properties, several inorganic nitrogen compounds can exist.
In water conditions that allow aerobic activity, nitrogen exists only as NO3- and N2. However, if there are specialised environmental conditions, you will also find HNO3, N2O, NH3, NO2- and even NH4+. And if you’re wondering, nitrogen doesn’t in any way react with water and simply dissolves within it.
Our bodies already contain about 2.6% of nitrogen and nitrogen is a requirement in our diet. However, when we are exposed to too much nitrogen it can easily cause asphyxiation. Our bodies absorb nitrogen in proteins and they are stored or even converted for various bodily functions. And whenever nitrogen exists as too much, our body goes on to convert it into nitrates which can be extremely toxic.
Due to this, technologies have been developed in order to remove dissolved nitrogen from our drinking water. Within the first two steps of processing, only 50% of the nitrogen content is removed. As a result, obvious further treatment is required with the use of HOCl and lime. And if you know your stuff, this isn’t very effective.
During the third and most important stage, nitrogen is removed via biological means. In essence, both denitrification and nitrification processes are utilized with the help of micro-organisms. However, after several reactions occur, the bacteria used breaks down any nitrates found to simply nitrogen.
This particular process is anaerobic and doesn’t require the presence of aeration. However, the nitrogen formed is then released into the air. In most cases, an effective carbon source is used and it goes on to effectively facilitate the decomposition process much faster.
During the third step of processing, the presence of pour spaces as well as aeration is required. Simple because at this particular stage, 90% of the dissolved nitrogen is removed. And various other compounds containing nitrogen is can also be removed as a result of ion exchange. Along with nitrogen, water contains several other compounds such as ammonia, and even phosphorous.
And depending on where you’re located in the world, your water processing company may add additional things such as water hyacinths during the third phase in order to fully remove nitrogen as well as phosphorous. In the case of ammonia removal, water undergoes the process of stripping with the use of air.
As we conclude we have just briefly looked at the main process for removing dissolved nitrogen from water. And we have also briefly looked at how it negatively affects the human body. Water typically contains several compounds which are removed before we can drink them.