Removal of Nitrate, Arsenic and Vanadium in Bench-scale Biological Filters
Schmidt, Jordan Jeremy
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Nitrate, arsenic and vanadium are all potential groundwater contaminants. Traditional physical/chemical methodologies are often too technical or expensive for rural environments. Biofiltration has been shown to remove a wide range of contaminants depending on the operating parameters. This research examined the possibility of using the denitrifying bacteria, Paracoccus denitrificans, to remove nitrate, arsenic and vanadium simultaneously from groundwater with varying iron concentrations. During bench-scale testing nitrate concentrations were reduced by up to 73%, even with the metals present. Without iron, arsenic and vanadium removal was insignificant. Removal increased when iron was added as it was found that arsenic and vanadium could be removed adsorptively by iron hydroxides. With 1 mg/L of iron present, removal rates of 67% and 91% were achieved for arsenic and vanadium, respectively. When the iron was increased to 2 mg/L, the removal rates increased to 85% and 96%, respectively.