Abstract

In this study, column experiments in the laboratory were set up to examine how the concentrations of nitrate nitrogen, nitrite nitrogen, and ammonia nitrogen changed when a nitrate-rich solution was passed through a medium comprising zero-valent iron, activated carbon, zeolite, and coarse sand. We varied the proportions of the components of the medium to determine how it influenced the nitrate removal and nitrogen fractions. Three different scenarios were used, with: (1) iron, activated carbon, and coarse sand at a ratio of 3:1:6; (2) iron, activated carbon, and zeolite at a ratio of 3:1:6; and (3) iron, activated carbon, and zeolite at a ratio of 3:3:4. The nitrate nitrogen concentration decreased from 25 mg/L to 2 mg/L in the first scenario. Removal was better when zeolite was added to the medium as most of the nitrate nitrogen broke down to ammonia nitrogen, with nitrite nitrogen as an intermediate product. The results of the tests showed that nitrate removal was best when the medium was iron, activated carbon, and zeolite, mixed at a ratio of 3:1:6. This study provides a scientific reference for in situ remediation of nitrate pollution in groundwater.

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