Effects of pH and precipitation on autohydrogenotrophic denitrification using the hollow-fiber membrane-biofilm reactor

Kuan Chun Lee, Bruce E. Rittmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations

Abstract

Experiments carried out in a hollow-fiber, membrane-biofilm reactor (HFMBR) showed that the optimum pH for autotrophic denitrification was in the range 7.7-8.6, with the maximum efficiency at 8.4. Increasing the pH above 8.6 caused a significant decrease in nitrate removal rate and a dramatic increase in nitrite accumulation. The pH rose by 1.2 units when a large buffer was not added, suggesting that some field applications may require pH control. Precipitation of Ca2+ occurred in every experiment. Precipitation was the largest sink for carbonate, and it also offset alkalinity production by denitrification. Although the alkalinity increased in most cases, systems with a high carbonate buffer and high pH accentuated precipitation, and the net change in alkalinity was negative. The long-term success of field applications of the HFMBR may depend upon the interactions among calcium concentration, total carbonate concentration, pH, and alkalinity changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1551-1556
Number of pages6
JournalWater Research
Volume37
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autotrophy
  • Biofilm
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Denitrification
  • Hydrogen
  • Membrane
  • Nitrate
  • Precipitation
  • pH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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