ESA title
Enabling & Support

Compartment III: The nitrifying compartment

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ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Engineering & Technology / Melissa

The nitrifying compartment's main function is to cycle NH4+ evolved from waste to nitrates, which is the most favourable source of nitrogen for higher plants. The compartment is composed of a mix Nitrosomas and Nitrobacter which oxidise NH4+ to NO2 and NO2 to NO3 respectively.

As this compartment is a fixed bed reactor, the importance of the hydrodynamic factors is slightly more important as well as more complicated. Therefore, the activity on this compartment has been focused on two areas:

  • the physical characterisation of the reactors
  • numerous bench tests to establish the proper kinetics and stoichiometries for different configurations


 A pilot reactor has been built and is running since 2014. 

MELiSSA Compartment III Nitrifying Compartment
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