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Nitrification in Tropical Wastewaters

Nitrification is the conversion of ammonia to nitrate. It is important in wastewater treatment, as ammonia is very toxic to fish. But most research has so far been undertaken in temperate areas. We are investigating nitrification in warm climates.

Project leader

Prof Tom Curtis



Project staff

Vincent How, University of Malaya

Peter Naylor, Bahrain


Royal Society Newton Fund


University of Malaya

Peter Naylor


We have learnt much of what we know about nitrification by studying wastewater treatment plants in the temperate regions. But many tropical and middle eastern countries now need to nitrify wastewaters in a reliable and economic manner. Thus, we are carrying out studies in Malaysia and Bahrain. We are investigating the underlying microbial ecology of nitrification in warm climates.

We are working with partners in the University of Malaya (Adeline Chua Seak May) in a project supported by the Newton Fund. Peter Naylor at the Muharraq Treatment Plant in Bahrain has recently joined us.