A review of autotrophic denitrification for groundwater remediation: A special focus on bioelectrochemical reactors

Eduardo Ortega-Martínez, Javiera Toledo-Alarcón, Edel Fernández, José Luis Campos, Ricardo Oyarzún, Claudia Etchebehere, René Cardeña, Angela Cabezas, László Koók, Péter Bakonyi, José Antonio Magdalena, Eric Trably, Nicolas Bernet, David Jeison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Groundwater is an important resource that can help in climate change adaptation. However, the pollution of these aquifers with nitrate is a widespread problem of growing concern. Biological denitrification using inorganic electron donors shows significant advantages in treating nitrate-polluted groundwater where organic matter presence is negligible. However, mass transfer limitations and secondary contamination seem to be the major hinderance to spread the use of these technologies. This could be solved by the use of bioelectrochemical systems (BES), which emerge as an attractive technology to solve these problems due to the reported low energy demand and high denitrification rates. However, technical and operational issues must be considered to replicate these results at full-scale. This review summarizes the biological basis of autotrophic denitrification and the key aspects of its application in bioelectrochemical systems. In addition, an estimation of the capital costs required for the implementation of a BES considering different population sizes and initial nitrate concentration in the groundwater is made.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111552
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autotrophic denitrification
  • Bioelectrochemical systems
  • Bioremediation
  • Groundwater recuperation
  • Investment costs
  • Microbial community

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