Hydrogen-driven denitrification using the fiber membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) was evaluated for consistent operation in tertiary wastewater treatment. The possibility of controlling the process rates, as well as biofilm parameters by supplying limited amounts of electron donor (hydrogen), was tested. Limiting the hydrogen supply proved to be efficient in controlling the biofilm growth and performance of the MBfR. Denitrification rates remained unchanged for both synthetic wastewater (SWW) and real municipal wastewater (MWW) effluent as well through the fluctuations in the substrate (NO3‐N) concentration. The average denitrification rates were 0.50 (±0.02) g NO3‐N per day per m2 for SWW and 0.59 (±0.04) g NO3‐N per day per m2 for MWW. Biofilm density rather than thickness was the determining factor in substrate diffusion and biofilm sloughing, ultimately determining operating stability. Limited hydrogen supply assured constant volatile solids (VS) concentration in the biofilm. It was determined that VS/TS ratio higher than 0.25 assured stable biofilm operation. Decrease of VS/TS ratio below 0.25 led to shearing of the non-biological outer layers of the biofilm. The values of chemical oxygen demand (COD), volatile suspended solids (VSS) and total suspended solids (TSS) in the final effluent were stable and well below wastewater effluent guidelines. Substitutions of bicarbonate with gaseous carbon dioxide as the carbon source did not affect denitrification rates despite lower than optimum pH conditions.
Hydrogen limitation—a method for controlling the performance of membrane biofilm reactor for autotrophic denitrification of wastewater
D. Celmer, J. Oleszkiewicz, N. Cicek, H. Husain; Hydrogen limitation—a method for controlling the performance of membrane biofilm reactor for autotrophic denitrification of wastewater. Water Sci Technol 1 November 2006; 54 (9): 165–172. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2006.704
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