Autotrophic Denitrification of High–Salinity Wastewater Using Elemental Sulfur: Batch Tests

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The feasibility of autotrophic denitrification of a highsalinity wastewater using sulfur–oxidizing autotrophic denitrificants was studied. These autotrophic bacteria oxidize elemental sulfur to sulfate while reducing nitrate to elemental nitrogen gas, thereby eliminating the need for the addition of organic carbon compounds. A series of bench–scale batch tests was performed with synthetic and actual flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater to examine the effects of various environmental and operational factors such as temperature, pH, high salinity, and potentially toxic substances on the rate of autotrophic denitrification using elemental sulfur. Specific denitrification rates of 6 to 8 mg nitrate–nitrogen (NO3 -N)/g volatile suspended solids (VSS)·h were obtained. The highest denitrification rates were found between pH 7.0 and 8.0 and a temperature of 30 8 C. The denitrification rate started to decrease above an osmotic pressure of 19 atm (approximately 70% of seawater), independent of the type of salt ions, and amounted to approximately 70% activity at the concentration of seawater. Polyphosphate or pyrophosphate could be used as the source of phosphorus instead of orthophosphate because the latter caused immediate calcium phosphate precipitation in the FGD wastewater. Inhibiting factors attributed to inorganic or organic compounds originating from coal combustion were discussed.
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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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