Efficient nitrate removal from synthetic groundwater via in situ utilization of short-chain fatty acids from methane bioconversion

Hui Chen, Shuai Liu, Tao Liu, Zhiguo Yuan, Jianhua Guo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nitrate (NO3) removal from groundwater is of great importance since it has posed a major risk to human health. Although methane-based denitrification processes have been developed, the practical application of methane as a carbon source for denitrification is constrained by either a long start-up time or a relatively low nitrate removal rate. This study investigated nitrate removal capacity by using a methane-based membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) feeding with synthetic groundwater. A high nitrate removal rate of 706 mg-N L−1 d−1 was achieved, which is by far the highest rate reported for methane-based denitrification reactors. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) were detected as products of methane bioconversion, with concentrations of acetic and propionic acid up to 168.8 mg L−1 and 50.2 mg L−1, respectively. Long-term operation and batch test results revealed that the SCFAs generated from methane bioconversion were in situ utilized for supporting nitrate removal as carbon and electron sources, thus leading to a practically useful removal rate. The findings suggest that it is promising to apply the methane-based MBfR to remove nitrate from nitrate contaminated groundwater.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124594
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume393
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Acetate
  • Denitrification
  • Groundwater remediation
  • Membrane biofilm reactor
  • Methane bioconversion
  • Nitrate removal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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