Nitrifying trickling filters and denitrifying bioreactors for nitrogen management of high-strength anaerobic digestion effluent.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The treatment of high-strength anaerobic digester effluent in laboratory-scale trickling filters for nitrification and then anaerobic filters for denitrification is reported. Five media types were investigated in the trickling filters: biochar, granular activated carbon (GAC), zeolite, Pall rings, and gravel. Three media were tested in five denitrifying filters: sand (S), bamboo wood chips (B), eucalyptus wood chips (E), bamboo with sand (B+S), and eucalyptus with sand (E+S). The different wood chips served as a supplemental electron donor for denitrification. From six months of operation, biochar, GAC, zeolite, Pall rings, and gravel media had turbidity (NTU) removal efficiencies of 90, 91, 77, 74, and 74%, respectively, and ammonia removal efficiencies of 83, 87, 85, 30, and 80%, respectively, which was primarily by nitrification to nitrate. For the anaerobic filters, S, B, B+S, E, and E+S had nitrate removal efficiencies of 30, 66, 53, 35, and 35%, and turbidity removal efficiencies of 88, 89, 84, 89, and 88%, respectively. Biochar and bamboo were selected as the best combination of media for trickling filter and anaerobic filter sequential treatment. Based on an average initial influent of 600 mg NH3 -N L-1 , 50 mg NO3 -N L-1 , and 980 NTU, the biochar filter's effluent would be 97 mg NH3 -N L-1 , 475 mg NO3 -N L-1 , and 120 NTU. The bamboo filter's final effluent would be 82 mg NH3 -N L-1 , 157 mg NO3 -N L-1 , and 13 NTU, which corresponds to 63% removal of total N and 99% removal of turbidity. These filter media thus present a simple option for sustainable post-treatment for nitrogen management and effluent polishing in low-resources settings.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Forbis-Stokes, AA; Rocha-Melogno, L; Deshusses, MA

Published Date

  • August 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 204 /

Start / End Page

  • 119 - 129

PubMed ID

  • 29655104

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5953278

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-1298

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0045-6535

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.03.137


  • eng