Since spent sulfidic caustic (SSC) produced from petrochemical industry contains a high concentration of alkalinity and sulfide, it was expected that SSC could be used as an electron donor for autotrophic denitrification. To investigate the nitrogen removal performance, a pilot scale Bardenpho process was operated. The total nitrogen removal efficiency increased as SSC dosage increased, and the highest efficiency was observed as 77.5% when SSC was injected into both anoxic tank (1) and (2). FISH analysis was also performed to shed light on the effect of SSC dosage on the distribution ratio of nitrifying bacteria and Thiobacillus denitrificans. FISH results indicated that the relative distribution ratio of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria, Nitrobacter spp., Nitrospira genus and Thiobacillus denitrificans to eubacteria varied little with the pH of the tanks, and SSC injection did not give harmful effect on nitrification efficiency. These results show that SSC can be applied as an electron donor of autotrophic denitrification to biological nitrogen removal process effectively, without any inhibitory effects to nitrifying bacteria and sulfur-utilizing denitrifying bacteria.

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