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Bioresource technology

Removal of highly elevated nitrate from drinking water by pH-heterogenized heterotrophic denitrification facilitated with ferrous sulfide-based autotrophic denitrification.


PMID 21893412

Abstract

The performance of acetic acid-supported pH-heterogenized heterotrophic denitrification (HD) facilitated with ferrous sulfide-based autotrophic denitrification (AD) was investigated in upflow activated carbon-packed column reactors for reliable removal of highly elevated nitrate (42 mg NO(3)-Nl(-1)) in drinking water. The use of acetic acid as substrate provided sufficient internal carbon dioxide to completely eliminate the need of external pH adjustment for HD, but simultaneously created vertically heterogenized pH varying from 4.8 to 7.8 in the HD reactor. After 5-week acclimation, the HD reactor developed a moderate nitrate removal capacity with about one third of nitrate removal occurring in the acidic zone (pH 4.8-6.2). To increase the treatment reliability, acetic acid-supported HD was operated under 10% carbon limitation to remove >85% of nitrate, and ferrous sulfide-based AD was supplementally operated to remove residual nitrate and formed nitrite without excess of soluble organic carbon, nitrite or sulfate in the final effluent.