Environmental biology

Effects of cathode potentials and nitrate concentrations on dissimilatory nitrate reductions by Pseudomonas alcaliphila in bioelectrochemical systems

Wenjie Zhang , Yao Zhang , Wentao Su , Yong Jiang , Min Su , Ping Gao , Daping Li


Received April 16, 2013,Revised November 05, 2013, Accepted , Available online March 24, 2014

Volume 26,2014,Pages 885-891

The effects of cathode potentials and initial nitrate concentrations on nitrate reduction in bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) were reported. These factors could partition nitrate reduction between denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA). Pseudomonas alcaliphila strain MBR utilized an electrode as the sole electron donor and nitrate as the sole electron acceptor. When the cathode potential was set from -0.3 to -1.1 V (vs. Ag/AgCl) at an initial nitrate concentration of 100 mg NO3--N/L, the DNRA electron recovery increased from (10.76 ± 1.6)% to (35.06 ± 0.99)%; the denitrification electron recovery decreased from (63.42 ± 1.32)% to (44.33 ± 1.92)%. When the initial nitrate concentration increased from (29.09 ± 0.24) to (490.97 ± 3.49) mg NO3--N/L at the same potential (-0.9 V), denitrification electron recovery increased from (5.88 ± 1.08)% to (50.19 ± 2.59)%; the DNRA electron recovery declined from (48.79 ± 1.32)% to (16.02 ± 1.41)%. The prevalence of DNRA occurred at high ratios of electron donors to acceptors in the BESs and denitrification prevailed against DNRA under a lower ratio of electron donors to acceptors. These results had a potential application value of regulating the transformation of nitrate to N2 or ammonium in BESs for nitrate removal.

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