An innovative wood-chip-framework substrate used as slow-release carbon source to treat high-strength nitrogen wastewater

Huai Li , Zifang Chi , Baixing Yan , Long Cheng , Jianzheng Li


Received May 30, 2016,Revised July 22, 2016, Accepted July 25, 2016, Available online August 02, 2016

Volume 29,2017,Pages 275-283

Removal of nitrogen in wastewater before discharge into receiving water courses is an important consideration in treatment systems. However, nitrogen removal efficiency is usually limited due to the low carbon/nitrogen (C/N) ratio. A common solution is to add external carbon sources, but amount of liquid is difficult to determine. Therefore, a combined wood-chip-framework substrate (with wood, slag and gravel) as a slow-release carbon source was constructed in baffled subsurface-flow constructed wetlands to overcome the problem. Results show that the removal rate of ammonia nitrogen (NH4+-N), total nitrogen (TN) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) could reach 37.5%–85%, 57.4%–86%, 32.4%–78%, respectively, indicating the combined substrate could diffuse sufficient oxygen for the nitrification process (slag and gravel zone) and provide carbon source for denitrification process (wood-chip zone). The nitrification and denitrification were determined according to the location of slag/gravel and wood-chip, respectively. Nitrogen removal was efficient at the steady phase before a shock loading using slag-wood-gravel combined substrate because of nitrification–denitrification process, while nitrogen removal was efficient under a shock loading with wood-slag-gravel combined substrate because of ANAMMOX process. This study provides a new idea for wetland treatment of high-strength nitrogen wastewater.

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