Membrane Diffuser Coupled Bioreactor for Methanotrophic Denitrification under Non-aerated Condition: Suggestion as a Post-denitrification Option

  • Lee, Kwanhyoung (Environmental Technology and Policy, Korea University) ;
  • Choi, Oh Kyung (Environmental Technology and Policy, Korea University) ;
  • Song, Ji Hyun (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sejong University) ;
  • Lee, Jae Woo (Environmental Technology and Policy, Korea University)
  • Received : 2013.10.16
  • Accepted : 2014.01.17
  • Published : 2014.03.30


Methanotrophic denitrification under a non-aerated condition (without external supply of oxygen or air) was investigated in a bioreactor coupled with a membrane diffuser. Batch experiment demonstrated that both methane consumption and nitrogen production rates were not high in the absence of oxygen, but most of the nitrate was reduced into $N_2$ with 88% recovery efficiency. The methane utilized for nitrate reduction was determined at 1.63 mmol $CH_4$/mmol $NO_3{^-}$-N, which was 2.6 times higher than the theoretical value. In spite of no oxygen supply, methanotrophic denitrification was well performed in the bioreactor, due to enhanced mass transfer of the methane by the membrane diffuser and utilization of oxygen remaining in the influent. The denitrification efficiency and specific denitrification rate were 47% and 1.69 mg $NO_3{^-}-N/g\;VSS{\cdot}hr$, respectively, which were slightly lower than for methanotrophic denitrification under an aerobic condition. The average concentration of total organic carbon in the effluent was as low as 2.45 mg/L, which indicates that it can be applicable as a post-denitrification method for the reclamation of secondary wastewater effluent. The dominant fatty acid methyl ester of mixed culture in the bioreactor was $C_{16:1{\omega}7c}$ and $C_{18:1{\omega}7c}$, which was predominantly found in type I and II methanotrophs, respectively. This study presents the potential of methanotrophic denitrification without externally excess oxygen supply as a post-denitrification option for various water treatment or reclamation.


Bioreactor;Membrane diffuser;Methanotrophic denitrification;Secondary wastewater effluent;Specific denitrification rate


Supported by : National Research Foundation


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