Simultaneous nitritation and p-nitrophenol removal using aerobic granular biomass in a continuous airlift reactor

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Abstract

The chemical and petrochemical industries produce wastewaters containing ammonium and phenolic compounds. Biological treatment of these wastewaters could be problematic due to the possible inhibitory effects exerted by phenolic compounds. The feasibility of performing simultaneous nitritation and p-nitrophenol (PNP) biodegradation using a continuous aerobic granular reactor was evaluated. A nitrifying granular sludge was bioaugmented with a PNP-degrading floccular sludge, while PNP was progressively added to the feed containing a high ammonium concentration. Nitritation was sustained throughout the operational period with ca. 85% of ammonium oxidation and less than 0.3% of nitrate in the effluent. PNP biodegradation was unstable and the oxygen limiting condition was found to be the main explanation for this unsteadiness. An increase in dissolved oxygen concentration from 2.0 to 4.5mgO2L-1 significantly enhanced PNP removal, achieving total elimination. Acinetobacter genus and ammonia-oxidising bacteria were the predominant bacteria species in the granular biomass. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-313
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume150
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

Keywords

  • Aerobic granules
  • Industrial wastewater
  • Nitritation
  • Oxygen limitation
  • Phenolic compounds

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