Combination with catalyzed Fe(0)-carbon microelectrolysis and activated carbon adsorption for advanced reclaimed water treatment: simultaneous nitrate and biorefractory organics removal

  • Zhifeng Hu
  • Desheng LiEmail author
  • Shihai Deng
  • Yuanhui Liu
  • Changyue Ma
  • Chao Zhang
Research Article


A process combining catalyzed Fe(0)-carbon microelectrolysis (IC-ME) with activated carbon (AC) adsorption was developed for advanced reclaimed water treatment. Simultaneous nitrate reduction and chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal were achieved, and the effects of composite catalyst (CC) addition, AC addition, and initial pH were investigated. The reaction kinetics and reaction mechanisms were calculated and analyzed. The results showed that CC addition could enhance the reduction rate of nitrate and effectively inhibit the production of ammonia. Moreover, AC addition increased the adsorption capacity of biorefractory organic compounds (BROs) and enhanced the degradation of BRO. The reduction of NO3–N at different pH values was consistently greater than 96.9%, and NH4+–N was suppressed by high pH. The presence of CC ensured the reaction rate of IC-ME at high pH. The reaction kinetics orders and constants were calculated. Catalyzed iron scrap (IS)-AC showed much better nitrate reduction and BRO degradation performances than IS-AC and AC. The IC-ME showed great potential for application to nitrate and BRO reduction in reclaimed water.


Fe(0)-carbon microelectrolysis Composite catalyst Activated carbon Reclaimed water Nitrate Biorefractory organic compounds 


Funding information

This work was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2018YJS123) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51778040).

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3919_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 17 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhifeng Hu
    • 1
  • Desheng Li
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Shihai Deng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yuanhui Liu
    • 1
  • Changyue Ma
    • 1
  • Chao Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Civil EngineeringBeijing Jiaotong UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Aqueous Typical Pollutants Control and Water Quality SafeguardBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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