Abilities of three aerobic denitrifiers such as Alcaligenes faecalis, Microvirgula aerodenitrificans and Paracoccus pantotrophus were compared from the viewpoints of nitrate removal efficiency and organic matter utilization. First, the effect of carbon source was investigated. Although nitrate reduction was observed in all strains under aerobic conditions, a change of carbon source considerably affected the denitrification ability. In the case of P. pantotrophus, nitrate and nitrite were completely removed in three days under sodium acetate or leucine as a carbon source. In the case of A. faecalis, sufficient nitrate removal was observed only when sodium acetate or ethanol was added. P. pantotrophus and A. faecalis showed a higher ability of nitrate removal than that of M. aerodenitrificans. Therefore, P. pantotrophus was selected in order to investigate the effects of concentration and repetitive addition of carbon. Sodium acetate was used as a sole carbon source. Nitrate was not reduced when the carbon concentration was below 500 mgC/L. However, when carbon source was added repeatedly, nitrate was reduced under 100 mgC/L after the optical density of the bacterium reached above 1.0. This result indicated that a high enough level of bacterial density was necessary to express aerobic denitrification activity.

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