A fluidized-bed biofilm reactor equipped with a Solid-Polymer-Electrolyte Membrane Electrode (SPEME) cell was developed in order to enhance hydrogenotrophic denitrification of groundwater. Porous cubes made of polyvinylalcohol (PVA) were used as a biofilm carrier and continuous treatments using synthetic groundwater were carried out for 105 days. Electric current was changed step-wise from 0.4 to 4.0 A. Experimental results showed that efficient production and dissolution of hydrogen were achieved by application of electric current as well as high-rate denitrification simultaneously. Denitrification rates of nitrite increased with the increase of electric current. Overall denitrification rates attained to about 90 mg-N/L/h, which was 3 to 9 times as high as those reported in former studies. Supplying electric current of about two times of stoichiometric equivalent to the cell considered necessary for complete denitrification. Water quality in effluent was very stable and electrolytic voltage was low around 3 V. In addition, simple and secure operation was demonstrated over the experiment. From these results, it was concluded that the present fluidized-bed biofilm reactor equipped with a SPEME cell could be very feasible for high-rate hydrogenotrophic denitrification of ground water.

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