Autotrophic denitrification of synthetic wastewater by Thiobacillus denitrificans MP-1 isolated from mangrove sediment was investigated in both up-flow packed-bed reactors and fermentor. More than 97.5% and 90% of the nitrate in inflow was removed after 8.8 and 161 hours at 250 and 195 mg 1-1 for the packed-bed reactor and fermentor system, respectively. The nitrate was quickly denitrified at very low flow rates (0.11 m h-1) for the packed-bed reactors, but as the flow rate was greater than 0.13 m 1-1, the nitrate removal rate increased as the flow rate increased. In the static fermentor system, the denitrification can be described by a secondary reaction, but at a flow rate between 1.31 to 1.49 m h-1, the reactor performance can be described using the zero-order reaction in the packed-bed reactor. As the speed increases, the zero-order reaction translates into half-order reaction as the penetration efficiency of nitrate decreases. The mass ratios between the nitrate removed and the sulfate produced were determined to be 6.81 and 9.32 in the reactor column and fermentor, respectively. The results of this study suggest that efficient removal of high concentrations of nitrate in water or wastewater can be achieved effectively using autotrophic bacteria immobilized on surfaces of sulphur granules in packed-bed reactor.
- Autotrophic denitrification
- Nitrate removal
- Thiobacillus denitrificans MP-1