Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 643–651 | Cite as

Aerobic denitrification: A review of important advances of the last 30 years

  • Bin JiEmail author
  • Kai Yang
  • Lei Zhu
  • Yu Jiang
  • Hongyu Wang
  • Jun Zhou
  • Huining Zhang
Review Paper


Understanding aerobic denitrification has become an important focus of environmental microbiology. Aerobic denitrification can be performed by various genera of microorganisms and describes the use of nitrate (NO 3 - ) as oxidizing agents under an aerobic atmosphere. Isolation of aerobic denitrifiers, enzymes involved in aerobic denitrifiers, phylogenetic distribution of aerobic denitrifiers, factors affecting the performance of aerobic denitrifiers, attempts of applications and possible future trends are depicted. The periplasmic nitrate reductase is vital for aerobic denitrifiers and NapA gene may be the proof of aerobic denitrification. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that aerobic denitrifiers mainly belong to α-, β- and γ-Proteobacteria. Aerobic denitrifiers tend to work efficiently at 25 ~ 37°C and pH 7 ~ 8, when dissolved oxygen concentration is 3 ~ 5 mg/L and C/N load ratio is 5 ~ 10. In addition, recent progresses and applications on aerobic denitrifiers are described, including single aerobic reactors, sequencing batch reactor and biofilm reactors. The review attempts to shed light on the fundamental understanding in aerobic denitrification.


aerobic denitrification Pseudomonas stutzeri periplasmic nitrate reductase evolutionary tree Proteobacteria 


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bin Ji
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kai Yang
    • 2
  • Lei Zhu
    • 1
  • Yu Jiang
    • 2
  • Hongyu Wang
    • 2
  • Jun Zhou
    • 2
  • Huining Zhang
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Urban ConstructionWuhan University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  2. 2.School of Civil EngineeringWuhan UniversityWuhanChina

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