Comparison of biogenic and chemical sulfur as electron donors for autotrophic denitrification in sulfur-fed membrane bioreactor (SMBR)

Ucar D., Yilmaz T., Di Capua F., Esposito G., ŞAHİNKAYA E.

BIORESOURCE TECHNOLOGY, vol.299, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 299
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.biortech.2019.122574
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Compendex, EMBASE, Environment Index, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, INSPEC, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts


Two sulfur-oxidizing membrane bioreactors (SMBRs) performing autotrophic denitrification at different HRTs (6-26 h), one supplemented with biogenic elemental sulfur (S-bio(0)) and the other with chemically-synthesized elemental sulfur (S-chem(0)), were compared in terms of nitrate reduction rates, impact on membrane filtration and microbial community composition. Complete denitrification with higher rates (up to 286 mg N-NO3-/L d) was observed in the SMBR supplemented with S-bio(0) (SMBRbio), while nitrate was never completely reduced in the SMBR fed with S-chem(0) (SMBRchem). Trans membrane pressure was higher for SMBRbio due to smaller particle size and colloidal properties of S-bio(0). Microbial communities in the two SMBRs were similar and dominated by Proteobacteria, with Pleomorphomonas and Thermomonas being the most abundant genera in both bioreactors. This study reveals that S-bio(0) can be effectively used for nitrate removal in autotrophic denitrifying MBRs and results in higher nitrate reduction rates compared to S-chem(0).