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Evaluation of natural zeolite as microorganism support medium in nitrifying batch reactors: Influence of zeolite particle size

AuthorsMery, C.; Guerrero, Lorna; Alonso-Gutiérrez, Jorge ; Figueroa, M.; Lema, J. M.; Montalvo, Silvio; Borja Padilla, Rafael
KeywordsNatural zeolite
Support medium
Particle size
Issue Date2012
PublisherTaylor & Francis
CitationJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering 47(3): 420-427 (2012)
AbstractAn evaluation of natural zeolite as a microorganism carrier in nitrifying reactors operated in batch mode was carried out. Specifically, the influence of zeolite particle sizes of 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 mm in diameter on microorganism adherence to zeolite, ammonium adsorption capacity and the identification of microbial populations were assessed. The greatest amount of total biomass adhered was observed for a zeolite particle size of 1 mm (0.289 g) which was achieved on the 12th day of operation. The highest ammonium adsorption capacity was observed for a zeolite particle size of 0.5 mm, which was 64% and 31% higher than that observed for particle sizes of 1.0 and 2.0 mm, respectively. The maximum de-sorption values were also found for a zeolite particle size of 0.5 mm, although when equilibrium was reached the ammonium concentrations were similar to those observed for a zeolite particle size of 1.0 mm. It was also found that the experimental data on ammonium adsorption fitted very well to the Freundlich isotherm for the three particle sizes studied. Finally, the nitrifying reactors showed similar microbial populations independently of the particle size used as microorganism carrier. The dominant bacterial community was Gammaproteobacteria making up 80% of the total population found. Betaproteobacteria were also identified and made up 12% approx. of the total population. Ammonium Oxidant Betaproteobacteria and Nitrobacter were also detected. Copyright © 2012 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1080/10934529.2012.646129
issn: 1093-4529
e-issn: 1532-4117
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