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Evaluation of Fe(II)-driven autotrophic denitrification in packed-bed reactors at different nitrate loading rates

Abstract : Nowadays, nitrate represents one of the major contaminants of the hydrosphere, mainly affecting the quality of groundwater intended to the production of drinking water. This study proposes the use of Fe(II)-driven autotrophic denitrification as a high-potential, innovative bioprocess to couple microbially-catalyzed nitrate reduction to Fe(II) oxidation. Two identical up-flow packed bed reactors (PBRs), i.e. PBR1 and PBR2, with granular activated carbon as biofilm carrier were seeded with a Thiobacillus-mixed culture and operated for 153 days at different feed nitrate concentrations and hydraulic retention times (HRTs). The results show enhanced nitrate removal rates and efficiencies at increasing nitrate loading rates. In particular, nitrate removal and Fe(II) oxidation up to 85 and 95 %, respectively, were achieved in PBR1 at nitrate loading rates as high as 12.5 mg NO3−/L/h. Besides not undermining the denitrification efficiency, increasing the nitrate loading rate from 8.1 to 12.5 mg NO3−/L/h led to specific nitrate removal rates as high as 14.3 mg NO3−/g VS/h. In PBR2, Fe(II)-driven denitrification was investigated at a constant nitrate loading rate by concomitantly decreasing the feed nitrate concentration and HRT. Despite the less severe operational conditions, the use of lower nitrate loading rates resulted in a lower nitrate removal efficiency than that obtained in PBR1.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 4, 2021 - 9:54:30 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 30, 2021 - 9:40:16 PM
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Kyriaki Kiskira, Stefano Papirio, Yoan Pechaud, Silvio Matassa, Eric D. van Hullebusch, et al.. Evaluation of Fe(II)-driven autotrophic denitrification in packed-bed reactors at different nitrate loading rates. Process Safety and Environmental Protection, Elsevier, 2020, 142, pp.317-324. ⟨10.1016/j.psep.2020.05.049⟩. ⟨insu-03093775⟩

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