Bioreduction of nitrate in groundwater using a pilot-scale hydrogen-based membrane biofilm reactor
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A long-term pilot-scale H2-based membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) was tested for removal of nitrate from actual groundwater. A key feature of this second-generation pilot MBfR is that it employed lower cost polyester hollow fibers and still achieved high loading rate. The steady-state maximum nitrate surface loading at which the effluent nitrate and nitrite concentrations were below the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) was at least 5.9 g·N·(m2·d)−1, which corresponds to a maximum volumetric loading of at least 7.7 kg·N·(m3·d) −1. The steady-state maximum nitrate surface area loading was higher than the highest nitrate surface loading reported in the first-generation MBfRs using composite fibers (2.6 g·N·(m2·d)−1). This work also evaluated the H2-utilization efficiency in MBfR. The measured H2 supply rate was only slightly higher than the stoichiometric H2-utilization rate. Thus, H2 utilization was controlled by diffusion and was close to 100% efficiency, as long as biofilm accumulated on the polyester-fiber surface and the fibers had no leaks.
Keywordsdenitrification groundwater treatment hydrogen membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) polyester fiber
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