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Evaluation of a sulfur thiobacillus denitrificans nitrate removal system


, : Evaluation of a sulfur thiobacillus denitrificans nitrate removal system. Journal of Environmental Quality 5(3): 298-303

An evaluation of sulfur-T. denitrificans nitrate removal system as a means of denitrifying nitrified septic tank effluent was conducted. Duplicate 10 by 64 cm columns were filled with a 1/1 mixture (wt/wt) of elemental S (> 2 mm) and dolomite chips (1 cm), and were pretreated by recycling an enrichment culture of T. denitrificans ATCC 23642 through the columns for 3 days. Continuous passage of the nitrified septic tank effluent (column influent) containing 40 .mu.g NO3--N/ml through the columns resulted in nearly complete NO3- removal in 3.3 h at steady-state conditions (23.degree. C). Statistical analyses indicated that the denitrification kinetics closely resemble 1st order in the range of NO3- concentrations employed. Oxidation-reduction potentials (Pt black electrodes) ranged from +160 to +300 mV. Analysis of the gases produced showed that N2 was present in highest concentration. Sulfate was the major S end product and was present at relatively high concentrations (90 .mu.g SO42--S/ml). A significant decrease in inorganic C occurred with depth in the columns while changes in organic C content were insignificant. A significant linear relationship was obtained between decreases in (NO3- + NO2-)-N and production of SO42--S. Passage of column effluent through 10 by 60 cm Plainfield sand columns did not significantly decrease SO42- levels. While use of this NO3- removal system appears promising, SO42- contamination of the ground water may limit its applicability.

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