Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering

, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 538–543

Nitrate removal in a packed bed reactor using volatile fatty acids from anaerobic acidogenesis of food wastes

  • Seong Jin Lim
  • Yeong Hee Ahn
  • Eun Young Kim
  • Ho Nam Chang


A packed bed reactor (PBR) was fed with nitrate containing synthetic wastewater or effluent from a sequencing batch reactor used for nitrification. The C source introduced into the PBR consisted of volatile fatty acids (VFAs) produced from anaerobic acidogenesis of food wastes. When nitrate loading rates ranged from 0.50 to 1.01 kg N/m3·d, the PBR exhibited 100∼98.8% NO3-N removal efficiencies and nitrite concentrations in the effluent ranged from 0 to 0.6 NO2-N mg/L. When the PBR was further investigated to determine nitrate removal activity along the bed height using a nitrate loading rate less than 1.01 kg N/m3·d, 100% nitrate removal efficiency was observed. Approximately 83.2% nitrate removal efficiency was observed in the lower 50% of the packed-bed height. When reactor performance at a C/N ratio of 4 and a C/N ratio of 5 was compared, the PBR showed better removal efficiency (96.5%) of nitrate and less nitrite concentration in the effluent at the C/N ratio of 5. VFAs were found to be a good alternative to methanol as a carbon source for denitrification of a municipal wastewater containing 40 mg-N/L.


denitrification food wastes nitrate packed-bed reactor volatile fatty acids 



Biological nutrient removal


Chemical oxygen demand (mg dm−3)


Dissolved oxygen


Oxidation-reduction potential


Packed-bed reactor


Sequencing batch reactor


Volatile fatty acids


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seong Jin Lim
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yeong Hee Ahn
    • 3
  • Eun Young Kim
    • 1
  • Ho Nam Chang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringKAISTDaejeonKorea
  2. 2.LG Environmental Strategy InstituteSeoulKorea
  3. 3.Department of Environmental EngineeringDong-A UniversityBusanKorea

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