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Coupled Sulfur and Iron(II) Carbonate-Driven Autotrophic Denitrification for Significantly Enhanced Nitrate Removal

Zhu, Ting-ting, Cheng, Hao-yi, Yang, Li-hui, Su, Shi-gang, Wang, Hong-cheng, Wang, Shu-sen, Wang, Ai-jie
Environmental science & technology 2018 v.53 no.3 pp. 1545-1554
biomass, carbonates, chemical oxygen demand, denitrification, iron, leaching, limestone, liquids, nitrates, nitrites, nitrous oxide, risk, sulfates, sulfur, synergism
Sulfur-based denitrification process has attracted increasing attentions because it does not rely on the external addition of organics and avoids the risk of COD exceeding the limit. Traditionally, limestone is commonly employed to maintain a neutral condition (SLAD process), but it may reduce the efficiency as the occupied zone by limestone cannot directly contribute to the denitrification. In this study, we propose a novel sulfur-based denitrification process by coupling with iron(II) carbonate ore (SICAD system). The ore was demonstrated to play roles as the buffer agent and additional electron donor. Moreover, the acid produced through sulfur driven denitrification was found to promote the Fe(II) leaching from the ore and likely extend the reaction zone from the surface to the liquid. As a result, more biomass was accumulated in the SICAD system compared with the controls (sulfur, iron(II) carbonate ore and SLAD systems). Owing to these synergistic effects of sulfur and iron(II) carbonate on denitrification, SICAD system showed much higher denitrification rate (up to 720.35 g·N/m³·d) and less accumulation of intermediates (NO₂– and N₂O) than the controls. Additionally, sulfate production in SICAD system was reduced. These findings offer great potential of SICAD system for practical use as a highly efficient postdenitrification process.