Denitrification Kinetic Parameters: A Comparison of Decay Rates Observed in Denitrifying Populations Grown On Methanol and Ethanol

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Two 6-L sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) were seeded with biomass and fed synthetic wastewater at 60 mg/L NO 3-N. The SBRs were operated in alternating aerobic/anoxic stages for 4 months to allow biomass to become acclimated to a carbon source for denitrification – methanol in one reactor and ethanol in the other. Following acclimation, nitrate and carbon feeds were stopped and a continuous anoxic environment was maintained in the reactors. On 8 occasions, subsamples were transferred from the parent reactors to separate batch reactors. The batch reactors were spiked with carbon and decay rate was estimated via the change in nitrate reduction rate with time. Decay rate determined for populations grown on methanol agree well with the literature at 0.04 d−1 based on NOx concentrations. For populations grown on ethanol, measured decay rate (0.05 d−1) was lower than textbook values of 0.16 and 0.30 d−1 for the traditional and lysis/regrowth models, respectively.

Keywords: carbon source; decay; denitrification; ethanol; methanol

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

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