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Biological Denitrification Using Corncobs as a Carbon Source and Biofilm Carrier

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Abstract:

In this research, agricultural waste—in particular, corncobs—was investigated for use as the sole carbon source and biofilm carrier to remove nitrate from wastewater in up-flow laboratory reactors. An artificial wastewater with a temperature range of 27 to 33°C was used. Fast startup of the reactor and a high nitrate removal efficiency were observed. The highest denitrification rate of 0.203kg/(m 3 · d) was achieved when flow rate and nitrate concentration were 153 L/d and 25.3 mgN/L, respectively. The accumulation of nitrite was not observed in this process. Moreover, flow rate and nitrate concentration of the influent were observed to have a significant effect on nitrate removal efficiency. A sharp decline of nitrate removal efficiency was observed when the flow rate was greater than 50 L/d. The reactor had the ability to accommodate a wide range of pH levels (6.5 to 8.5) and dissolved oxygen (1.5 mg/L to 4 mg/L). A time-dependent decrease in nitrate removal efficiency was observed after 67 days of operation. The addition of fresh corncobs brought about a rapid increase of nitrate removal efficiency. Results showed that corncobs could be used as an economical and effective carbon source for denitrification.

Keywords: biofilm carrier; biological denitrification; carbon source; corncobs

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143008X325683

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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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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