Simultaneous nitrification and denitrification in an aerobic biofilm biosystem with loofah sponges as carriers for biodegrading hydrolyzed polyacrylamide-containing wastewater

  • Yingying Zhang
  • Lanmei Zhao
  • Tianwen Song
  • Yuan Cheng
  • Mutai BaoEmail author
  • Yang Li
Research Paper


Simultaneous nitrification and denitrification (SND) during treating hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) containing wastewater were explored in an aerobic biofilm reactor biosystem. Here, loofah sponges as the environment-friendly and low-cost material were applied as the carriers in this biosystem. The removal efficiencies of HPAM and total nitrogen (TN) reached 43.6% and 54.3%, respectively, after 120 days stabilized running periods. Moreover, the structure of loofah sponges affected anaerobic microenvironment significantly which was indispensable for realizing a high-performance of SND. Key microorganisms in this biosystem included nitrobacteria, denitrobacteria and HPAM-biodegrading bacteria. The abundance of nitrobacteria and denitrobacteria on the biofilm was increased by 17.2% and 15.3%, respectively, through cultivation. Meanwhile, the biotransformation mechanisms of HPAM and diverse valence of nitrogen under different chemical oxygen demand (COD)/N and dissolved oxygen (DO) conditions were investigated. When COD/N and DO were 8:1 and 2 mg/L, HPAM biodegradation, SND efficiency and TN removal achieved their maximum, and the values were 54.3%, 92.3% and 60.1%, respectively. Key enzyme activities also reached their maximum in this condition. The optimal COD/N and DO was pivotal to achieve the high-performance of SND, and it was closely correlated with HPAM biodegradation. Meanwhile, SND could facilitate the biotransformation of HPAM.


Loofah sponges Hydrolyzed polyacrylamide Simultaneous nitrification and denitrification Key microorganism Biotransformation mechanism 



This study was supported financially by the Key Research and Development Program of Shandong Province (Public Welfare Special Project) (2017GSF217012), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (201861016), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51174181) and the Major Projects of the National High Technology Research and Development Program 863 (2013AA064401). This is MCTL Contribution No. 214.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

449_2019_2247_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 1232 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Marine Chemistry Theory and Technology, Ministry of Education/Institute for Advanced Ocean StudyOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina
  2. 2.College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina
  3. 3.China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group)BeijingChina

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