Enhancement of nitrogen removal in hybrid wastewater treatment system using ferric citrate modified basalt fiber biocarrier

Abstract

Developing biofilm carriers is of great significance for efficient wastewater treatment. In this work, ferric citrate was used to modify inorganic basalt fiber (BF) biocarrier, thus improving its surface properties and the nitrogen removal in hybrid wastewater treatment system. The results showed that the iron element on modified basalt fiber (Fe-MBF) existed in the forms of ferric citrate, Fe(OH)3, Fe2O3, and FeO. The ferric deposition increased the surface roughness, hydrophilicity and reduced the electronegativity of BF. The water contact angle of BF and Fe-MBF was 117.46° and 64.85°, respectively. The surface zeta potential of BF was −17.64 mV, but shifted positively (−8.67 mV) after deposition modification. The microorganism adhesion tests showed that the attached biomass and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) content on Fe-MBF biocarrier significantly increased and the attached bacteria had also high viability. The Fe-MBF biocarrier showed good nitrogen removal performance in the hybrid bioreactor, with total nitrogen removal efficiency up to 95.35±0.82%, increasing by about 16% compared to that with unmodified BF biocarrier. This work also provided a green modification strategy to enhance biofilm carrier in wastewater treatment.

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Data availability

All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article and its supplementary information files. Supplementary information is available at Environmental Science and Pollution Research’s website.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Professor Mohamed Gamal El-Din from the University of Alberta for his instructive comments during the writing of this manuscript.

Funding

This work was supported by the Senior Talent Fund of Anhui Polytechnic University (2020YQQ055), National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFE0126400), National Natural Science Foundation of China (51808264), and Senior Talent Fund of Jiangsu University (16JDG070 and 18JDG031).

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XZ contributed to the study conception and design. XZ, JD, and FG performed the experiments. ZL and XX performed the data analysis. XZ wrote the first draft of the manuscript. ZL, XZ, JW, and ZW reviewed and edited the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Jing Wei or Zhiren Wu.

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Zhang, X., Ding, J., Gao, F. et al. Enhancement of nitrogen removal in hybrid wastewater treatment system using ferric citrate modified basalt fiber biocarrier. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12941-7

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Keywords

  • Biological treatment
  • Inorganic fiber media
  • Ferric deposition modification
  • Surface properties
  • Bacterial adhesion
  • Extracellular polymeric substances