Copper dosing to increase ammonium removal of biofilters

The study paper ‘Remediation of incomplete nitrification and capacity enhance of biofilters at different consuming drinking water therapy vegetation via copper dosing’ has been posted in Elsevier journal Drinking water Research.


Ingesting drinking water therapy vegetation primarily based on groundwater may go through from incomplete ammonium removal, which deteriorates consuming drinking water high quality and constrains drinking water utilities in the operation of their vegetation. Ammonium is ordinarily removed via nitrification in organic granular media filters, and latest scientific studies have demonstrated that dosing of copper can promote the removal of ammonium. Here, we investigated if copper dosing could generically increase ammonium removal of biofilters, at therapy vegetation with different qualities. Copper was dosed at ≤1.5 μg Cu/L to biofilters at 10 groundwater therapy vegetation, all of which had exhibited a number of a long time of incomplete nitrification. Crops exceeded the Danish national drinking water high quality typical of .05 mg NH4+/L by a element of 2–12. In only 2-3 months of dosing, ammonium removal charges amplified appreciably (up to 150%). Nitrification was totally set up, with ammonium effluent concentrations of <0.01 mg NH4+-N/L at most plants, regardless of the differences in raw water chemistry, ammonium loading rates, filter design and operation, or treatment plant configuration. However, for filters without primary filtration, it took longer time to reach complete ammonium removal than for filters receiving prefiltered water, likely due to sorption of copper to iron oxides, at plants without prefiltration. With complete ammonium removal, we subjected two plants to short-term loading rate upshifts, to examine the filters' ability to cope with loading rate variations. After 2 months of dosing and an average loading rate of 1.0 g NH4+-N/m3 filter material/h, the loading rate was upshifted by 50%. Yet, a filter managed to completely remove all the influent ammonium, showing that with copper dosing the filter had extra capacity to remove ammonium even beyond its normal loading rates. Depth sampling revealed that the ammonium removal rate of the filter's upper 10 cm increased more than 7-fold from 0.67 to 4.90 g NH4+-N/m3/h, and that nitrite produced from increased ammonium oxidation was completely oxidized further to nitrate. Hence, no problems with nitrite accumulation or breakthrough occurred. Overall, copper dosing generically enhanced nitrification efficiency and allowed a range of quite different plants to meet water quality standards, even at increased loading rates. The capacity increase is highly relevant in practice, as it makes filters more robust towards sudden ammonium loading rate variations.

Read the full text on ScienceDirect.


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