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Biotechnology advances

Simultaneous biological removal of nitrogen-sulfur-carbon: recent advances and challenges.


PMID 23267859

Abstract

Biological removal of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur is drawing increasing research interest in search for an efficient and cost-effective wastewater treatment. While extensive work on separate removal of nitrogen and sulfur is well documented, investigation on simultaneous denitrifying sulfide removal has only been reported recently. Most of the work on denitrifying sulfide removal has been focusing on bioreactor performance, loading and operating conditions. Nonetheless, underlying principles elucidating the biochemical reactions and the mechanisms of the microbial degradation are yet to be established. In addition, unstable denitrifying sulfide removal which is a major operating problem that hinders practical application of the process, is yet to be resolved. This paper provides a review on the state-of-the-art development of simultaneous biological removal of sulfur, nitrogen and carbon. Research on bioreactor operation and performance, reactor configurations, mechanisms and modeling work including the use of mass balance analysis and artificial neural networks is delineated. An in-depth discussion on the microbial community and functional consortium is also provided. Challenges and future work on simultaneous biological removal of nitrogen-sulfur-carbon are also outlined.

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