In this paper, a new method for removal of nitrate from groundwater, in which elemental sulfur-based denitrification (autotrophic denitrification) and membrane separation are combined, is proposed. By using a membrane, autotrophic denitrifiers, whose growth rate is considerably low, can be kept at a high concentration. The performance of the proposed process was examined through a long-term experiment in the laboratory using synthetic feed water. A rotating membrane disk module equipped with UF membrane (750,000 Da) was used in this study. Complete removal of nitrate (25 mg N/L) was achieved under the conditions of a biomass concentration of about 1000 mg protein/L and HRT of 160 min. Dissolved oxygen concentration and sulfur/biomass ratio in the membrane chamber were found to be the key factors in maintenance of high-process performance. Deterioration in membrane permeability was insignificant. It was found that membrane filtration could be continued with a water flux of 0.5 m 3 /m 2 /day for about 100 days without any chemical membrane cleaning. The proposed process, however, caused a slight increase in assimilable organic carbon. Sulfide was not detected in the denitrified water.
Water Research – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2002
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