Indexed on: 26 Feb '03Published on: 26 Feb '03Published in: Water Research
Experiments carried out in a hollow-fiber, membrane-biofilm reactor (HFMBR) showed that the optimum pH for autotrophic denitrification was in the range 7.7-8.6, with the maximum efficiency at 8.4. Increasing the pH above 8.6 caused a significant decrease in nitrate removal rate and a dramatic increase in nitrite accumulation. The pH rose by 1.2 units when a large buffer was not added, suggesting that some field applications may require pH control. Precipitation of Ca(2+) occurred in every experiment. Precipitation was the largest sink for carbonate, and it also offset alkalinity production by denitrification. Although the alkalinity increased in most cases, systems with a high carbonate buffer and high pH accentuated precipitation, and the net change in alkalinity was negative. The long-term success of field applications of the HFMBR may depend upon the interactions among calcium concentration, total carbonate concentration, pH, and alkalinity changes.