Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 2329–2340 | Cite as

Combined autotrophic nitritation and bioelectrochemical-sulfur denitrification for treatment of ammonium rich wastewater with low C/N ratio

  • Haiyan WangEmail author
  • Qianyu Hang
  • John Crittenden
  • Yuexi Zhou
  • Quan Yuan
  • Haitao Liu
Research Article


A novel combined autotrophic nitritation and bioelectrochemical-sulfur denitrification (CANBSD) process was developed for treatment of synthetic ammonium-rich wastewater with low carbon/nitrogen ratio. Total nitrogen removal of the CANBSD was higher than 95 %, the effluent SO4 2− was lower than 1280 mg L−1, and the maximum nitrogen volumetric loading rate was 1.2 kg m−3 day−1 when (1) the influent NH4 +-N was lower than 1008 mg L−1, (2) hydraulic retention time was between 3.7 and 32 h, (3) the DO was between 0.5 and 1.2 mg L−1, (4) the pH was between 7.5 and 8.2, and (5) the temperature was between 28 and 30 °C. Both the NH4 +-N removal and conversion to NO2 -N in the nitritation membrane reactor (NMBR) were maintained at about 50 %, and the residual NH4 +-N and accumulated NO2 -N were subsequently treated in the bioelectrochemical-sulfur three-dimensional denitrification reactor. The CANBSD energy consumption was 0.13 and 3.4 kWh m−3, respectively, for influent NH4 +-N of 100 and 1000 mg L−1. The energy consumption of CANBSD was close to that of partial nitritation-ANNMMOX.


Nitritation Bioelectrochemical-sulfur Low carbon/nitrogen ratio Synthetic ammonium-rich wastewater 



This study was supported by the Natural Sciences Foundation of China (No. 50708120) and China Scholarship Council Foundation (2011911098). The authors also appreciate support from the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems, Hightower Chair, and the Georgia Research Alliance at the Georgia Institute of Technology.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haiyan Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Qianyu Hang
    • 1
    • 2
  • John Crittenden
    • 3
    • 4
  • Yuexi Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Quan Yuan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Haitao Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk AssessmentChinese Research Academy of Environmental SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Research Center for Water Pollution Control TechnologyChinese Research Academy of Environmental SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems, Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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