Abstract

The main objective of this study was to investigate how signal molecules enhance bacterial quorum aggregation on a zeolite capping layer for sustainable inhibition of ammonium release from contaminated sediment. Sediment remediation experiments were carried out by using nitrifying bacteria (WGX10, WGX18), denitrifying bacteria (HF3, HF7) and two kinds of signal molecules (OHHL, C8-HSL). The results showed that nitrifying bacteria and denitrifying bacteria could significantly aggregate on zeolite after adding 1.0 μM OHHL at a C/N ratio of 7. The maximum ammonium removal of five times the amount of ammonium adsorbed was achieved when 1.0 μM OHHL was added at the C/N ratio of 7 (the bio-regeneration rate was up to 88.32%), which was 1.24–2.02 times the ammonium removal amount at C/N ratios of 3, 5, 9. The concentration of total nitrogen in the overlying water was no more than 0.8 mg/L during four rounds of sediment remediation experiments. In addition, the bio-regeneration rate was up to 71.20%, which achieved sustainable inhibition of ammonium release from contaminated sediment.

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