Evaluating the nitrogen-contaminated groundwater treatment by a denitrifying granular sludge bioreactor : effect of organic matter loading

Barbara Muñoz-Palazon, Alejandro Rodriguez-Sanchez, Miguel Hurtado-Martinez, Jesús Gonzalez-Lopez, Riku Vahala, Alejandro Gonzalez-Martinez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

A sequential bed granular bioreactor was adapted to treat nitrate-polluted synthetic groundwater under anaerobic conditions and agitation with denitrification gas, achieving very efficient performance in total nitrogen removal at influent organic carbon concentrations of 1 g L-1 (80–90%) and 0.5 g L-1 (70–80%) sodium acetate, but concentrations below 0.5 g L-1 caused accumulation of nitrite and nitrate and led to system failure (30–40% removal). Biomass size and settling velocity were higher above 0.5 g L-1 sodium acetate. Trichosporonaceae dominated the fungal populations at all times, while a dominance of terrestrial group Thaumarchaeota and Acidovorax at 1 and 0.5 g L-1 passed to a domination of Methanobrevibacter and an unclassified Comamonadaceae clone for NaAc lower than 0.5 g L-1. The results obtained pointed out that the denitrifying granular sludge technology is a feasible solution for the treatment of nitrogen-contaminated groundwater, and that influent organic matter plays an important role on the conformation of microbial communities within it and, therefore, on the overall efficiency of the system.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Biological denitrification
  • Granular sludge
  • Groundwater treatment
  • Microbial ecology
  • Nitrate-polluted water

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