Partial nitritation and o-cresol removal with aerobic granular biomass in a continuous airlift reactor

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Abstract

Several chemical industries produce wastewaters containing both, ammonium and phenolic compounds. As an alternative to treat this kind of complex industrial wastewaters, this study presents the simultaneous partial nitritation and o-cresol biodegradation in a continuous airlift reactor using aerobic granular biomass. An aerobic granular sludge was developed in the airlift reactor for treating a high-strength ammonium wastewater containing 950±25mg N-NH4+ L-1. Then, the airlift reactor was bioaugmented with a p-nitrophenol-degrading activated sludge and o-cresol was added progressively to the ammonium feed to achieve 100mgL-1. The results showed that stable partial nitritation and full biodegradation of o-cresol were simultaneously maintained obtaining a suitable effluent for a subsequent anammox reactor. Moreover, two o-cresol shock-load events with concentrations of 300 and 1000mgL-1 were applied to assess the capabilities of the system. Despite these shock load events, the partial nitritation process was kept stable and o-cresol was totally biodegraded. Fluorescence in situ hybridization technique was used to identify the heterotrophic bacteria related to o-cresol biodegradation and the ammonia oxidising bacteria along the granules. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-362
JournalWater Research
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Aerobic granules
  • Industrial wastewater
  • Nitritation
  • Phenolic compounds

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