Ammonia is a common contaminant of wastewater – nitrification and denitrification is the process commonly used for the removal of ammonia.

Ammonia removal is a common requirement of industrial and sewage treatment processes.

Aerofloat has extensive experience in designing treatment plants for the management and removal of Nitrogen in the form of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates from wastewater. A typical treatment plant will consist of an anoxic reactor (AR) and a sequence batch reactor (SBR). Depending on the wastewater, sometimes a nitrifying reactor (NR) is used between these 2 reactors.

Nitrogen can be removed biologically through the nitrification and denitrification processes. Ammonia exerts an oxygen demand on the microorganisms, and if given enough oxygen, the microorganisms will oxidise the ammonia to nitrites and nitrates. Controlled aeration of the SBR optimises the nitrification process by ensuring sufficient dissolved oxygen is present:

Nitrification: NH3 + O2 à NO3 + H2O (not stoichiometrically balanced)

Nitrates and nitrites are then reduced to nitrogen gas where no dissolved oxygen is present, forcing the microorganisms to use the oxygen in the NOx molecule and liberate nitrogen gas to the atmosphere. By returning the mixed liquor to the upfront anoxic reactor (AR) at high flowrates, the denitrification process will occur (in the AR) by the denitrifying organisms being mixed and utilising the available carbon as the electron donor in the incoming wastewater. Depending on the wastewater sometimes supplementary carbon may need to be added.

Denitrification: NO3 à N2 + H2O (not stoichiometrically balanced)

Expert knowledge of nitrogen / ammonia removal

Aerofloat engineers have in-depth knowledge to recommend the process for nitrification and denitrifcation.

Rely on Aerofloat for your wastewater management

Aerofloat engineers thrive on having a detailed understanding the physical, chemical and biological processes in managing contaminants degradation in wastewaters.

Years’ of design experience

Aerofloat has extensive design experience across a range of disciplines to ensure quality engineering is at the core of all solutions.

Relevant products

When designing a wastewater treatment plant, Aerofloat engineers utilise a range of different proprietary and off-the-shelf products to deliver the best wastewater treatment solution.


AeroMBBR technology is a biological process commonly used to remove soluble contaminants such as dissolved sugars and proteins. This patent-pending technology feature is a simple, low maintenance and cost-effective solution for biological wastewater treatment.


AeroSBR technology is a suspended growth biological treatment process whereby the microorganisms are aerated, settled and the effluent decanted in the same reactor.


AeroASR technology is a process where suspended growth biological treatment requires the microorganisms to be clarified in a separate reactor.

Serviceable markets:

  • Leachate treatment

  • Sewage treatment

  • Industrial wastewaters

After care

Aerofloat can help you maintain optimal performance of your wastewater treatment system long after installation.
Ensure a cost-effective and hassle-free chemical supply.

Minimise downtime with regular servicing and maintenance.

Easy access to the right parts to keep your treatment system running.

Utilise existing infrastructure with a WWT system upgrade.

Case studies

Dunmore Leachate Wastewater web 1

Dunmore Leachate Treatment Plant

Aerofloat’s design allowed for increases in flow rates and ammonia concentration during peak flows. The plant achieved results beyond the initial scope, managing peak loads of 2000mg/L of ammonia and still achieved strict Sydney water ammonia and nitrogen discharge limits.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Denitrification can be effectively applied to address agricultural runoff or polluted water bodies, providing a sustainable solution to manage nitrogen levels and prevent eutrophication. This process is particularly beneficial for treating water with high nitrate concentrations resulting from agricultural activities, including the use of fertilisers and animal waste. By converting nitrate into nitrogen gas, denitrification can significantly reduce the nutrient load entering rivers, lakes, and oceans, thus preventing the growth of harmful algal blooms that deplete oxygen and harm aquatic life.

Implementing denitrification systems in agricultural settings or near polluted water bodies can be a proactive measure to protect water quality and maintain ecological balance. Aerofloat’s expertise in designing and implementing wastewater treatment systems incorporates advanced denitrification technologies tailored to mitigate the impact of agricultural runoff and improve the health of aquatic ecosystems.

The environmental advantages of denitrification are significant, contributing to the sustainability of water ecosystems and public health. Firstly, by reducing the concentration of nitrates and nitrites in wastewater, denitrification helps prevent eutrophication, a process that leads to excessive algae growth and oxygen depletion in water bodies. This, in turn, supports aquatic life and maintains the biodiversity of ecosystems.

Secondly, denitrification reduces the risk of methemoglobinemia (blue baby syndrome) in infants, a condition linked to high nitrate levels in drinking water.

Additionally, by converting nitrates into nitrogen gas, denitrification contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, particularly nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. Implementing denitrification processes, as designed and managed by Aerofloat, not only ensures compliance with environmental regulations but also promotes the conservation of water resources and protects public health, showcasing the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable wastewater management.

Denitrification can significantly enhance water quality in aquaculture systems by maintaining optimal nitrogen levels, essential for the health and growth of aquatic organisms. High concentrations of ammonia and nitrate in aquaculture systems can be toxic to fish and shellfish, leading to reduced growth rates, increased susceptibility to diseases, and, in severe cases, mortality.

By incorporating denitrification processes, aquaculture operators can control nitrogen levels, improving the overall water quality and creating a healthier environment for aquatic life. This not only increases the productivity and sustainability of aquaculture operations but also reduces the need for frequent water changes, lowering water consumption and treatment costs.

Aerofloat’s experience in designing wastewater treatment solutions includes systems tailored for aquaculture, leveraging denitrification to ensure that water quality meets the stringent requirements for successful aquaculture ventures, thus supporting the industry’s growth and environmental sustainability.

How can we help?

Whatever your wastewater challenge, we can develop a solution for you. Start by getting in touch with one of our experts.