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Denitrification of Wastewater Containing High Nitrate Using a Bioreactor System Packed by Microbial Cellulose

Authors: H. Godini, A. Rezaee, A. Jafari, S. H. Mirhousaini


A Laboratory-scale packed bed reactor with microbial cellulose as the biofilm carrier was used to investigate the denitrification of high-strength nitrate wastewater with specific emphasis on the effect the nitrogen loading rate and hydraulic retention time. Ethanol was added as a carbon source for denitrification. As a result of this investigation, it was found that up to 500 mg/l feed nitrate concentration the present system is able to produce an effluent with nitrate content below 10 ppm at 3 h hydraulic retention time. The highest observed denitrification rate was 4.57 kg NO3-N/ (m3 .d) at a nitrate load of 5.64 kg NO3- N/(m3 .d), and removal efficiencies higher than 90% were obtained for loads up to 4.2 kg NO3-N/(m3 .d). A mass relation between COD consumed and NO3-N removed around 2.82 was observed. This continuous-flow bioreactor proved an efficient denitrification system with a relatively low retention time.

Keywords: Denitrification, Microbial cellulose, packed-bed reactor, Biological nitrate removal

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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