Nitrification–Autotrophic Denitrification Using Elemental Sulfur as an Electron Donor in a Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR): Performance and Kinetic Analysis

Mario Corbalán, Cristopher Da Silva, Andrea Barahona, César Huiliñir*, Lorna Guerrero*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Simultaneous nitrification and autotrophic denitrification (SNAD) has received attention as an efficient biological nitrogen removal alternative. However, SNAD using elemental sulfur (S0) has scarcely been studied. Thus, the main objective of this research was to study the behavior of a simultaneous nitrification–autotrophic denitrification operation in a sequential batch reactor (SNAD-SBR) at a lab scale using S0 as an electron donor, including its kinetics. Two-scale reactors were operated at lab scales in cycles for 155 days with an increasing nitrogen loading rate (NLR: 0.0296 to 0.0511 kg N-NH4+/m3/d) at 31 °C. As a result, simultaneous nitrification–autotrophic denitrification using S0 as an electron donor was performed successfully, with nitrification efficiency of 98.63% and denitrification efficiency of 44.9%, with autotrophic denitrification as the limiting phase. The kinetic model adjusted for ammonium-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) was the Monod-type kinetic model (µmax = 0.791 d−1), while, for nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB), the Haldane-type model was employed (µmax = 0.822 d−1). For denitrifying microorganisms, the kinetic model was adjusted by a half order (k1/2v = 0.2054 mg1/2/L1/2/h). Thus, we concluded that SNAD could be feasible using S0 as an electron donor, with kinetic behavior similar to that of other processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4269
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2024

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  • autotrophic denitrification
  • kinetic parameters
  • nitrification
  • SBR

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