Microbial reduction of nitrate in the presence of zero-valent iron

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Zhang, Yiping; Douglas, Grant ORCID ID icon; Kaksonen, Anna ORCID ID icon; Cui, Lili; Ye, Zhengfang


Journal Article

Science of the Total Environment



Microbial reduction of nitrate in the presence of zero-valent iron (ZVI) was evaluated in anoxic shake flasks to assess the feasibility of ZVI-facilitated biological nitrate removal. Nitrate was completely reduced within 3 days in the presence of both ZVI and microorganisms (ZVI-M). In contrast, only 75% of the nitrate was reduced in the presence of ZVI but without microbial inoculum. Nitrate removal was affected by ZVI-M flasks initial pH, nitrate concentration and ZVI dosage. Nitrate removal in the inoculated ZVI flasks system could be divided into two phases: adaptation phase and log phase which could be described by first-order kinetic equations. The analysis of bacterial communities in the inoculated flasks in the absence and presence of ZVI, indicated that the addition of ZVI increased the relative abundance of Methylotenera spp., Alcaligenes eutrophus, Pseudomonas spp. which might play an important role in nitrogen removal. The presence of ZVI could enhance biological denitrification through four mechanisms: the biological reduction of nitrate with 1) electrons derived directly from ZVI; 2) with hydrogen released from ZVI; 3) with Fe2+ released from ZVI; and 4) with acetate generated by homoacetogens which utilize H2 released from ZVI.


bacteria; nitrate; reduction; treatment; zero-valent iron (ZVI)

Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified



Journal article - Refereed


Zhang, Yiping; Douglas, Grant; Kaksonen, Anna; Cui, Lili; Ye, Zhengfang. Microbial reduction of nitrate in the presence of zero-valent iron. Science of the Total Environment. 2019; 646:1195-1203.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.112

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