Enhancing anoxic denitrification of low C/N ratio wastewater with novel ZVI composite carriers

Xie Quan , Yanping Shi , Tao Liu , Hongtao Yu


Received March 09, 2021,Revised , Accepted May 13, 2021, Available online June 05, 2021

Volume 34,2022,Pages 180-191

External organic carbon sources are needed to provide electron donors for the denitrification of wastewater with a low COD/NO3-N (C/N) ratio, increasing the treatment cost. The economic strategy is to enhance the bioactivity and/or biodiversity of denitrifiers to efficiently utilize organic substances in wastewater. In this study, novel zero-valent iron (ZVI) composite carriers were prepared and implemented in a suspended carrier biofilm reactor to enhance the bioactivity and/or biodiversity of denitrifiers. At the influent C/N ratio of 4 (COD was 179.5 ± 5.0 mg/L and TN was 44.2 ± 0.8 mg/L), COD and TN removal efficiencies were 85.1% and 66.4%, respectively, in the reactors filled with 3 wt% ZVI composite carriers. In contrast, COD and TN removal efficiencies were 70.4% and 55.3%, respectively, in the reactor filled with conventional high-density polyethylene (HDPE) biofilm carriers. The biofilm formation on the 3 wt% ZVI composite carriers was optimized due to its higher roughness (surface square roughness increased from 76.0 nm to 93.8 nm) and favorable hydrophilicity (water contact angle dropped to 72.5° ± 1.4° from 94.3° ± 3.2°) compared with the HDPE biofilm carriers. In addition, heterotrophic denitrifiers, Thauera and Dechloromonas, were enriched, whereas autotrophic denitrifiers, Raoultella and Thiobacillus, exhibited high relative abundance in the biofilm of ZVI composite carriers. The coexistence of heterotrophic denitrifiers and autotrophic denitrifiers on the surface of ZVI composite carriers provided mixotrophic metabolism of denitrification (including heterotrophic and iron-based autotrophic), thereby ensuring effective denitrification for wastewater with a low C/N ratio without external organic carbon source addition.

Copyright © Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press. All rights reserved.京ICP备05002858号-3