Simultaneous methanogenesis and denitrification of pretreated effluents from a fish canning industry

A. Mosquera-Corral, M. Sanchez, J. L. Campos, R. Mendez, J. M. Lema

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90 Scopus citations


A lab-scale hybrid upflow sludge bed-filter (USBF) reactor was employed to carry out methanogenesis and denitrification of the effluent from an anaerobic industrial reactor (EAIR) in a fish canning industry. The reactor was initially inoculated with methanogenic sludge and there were two different operational steps. During the first step (Step I: days 1-61), the methanogenic process was carried out at organic loading rates (OLR) of 1.0-1.25 g COD l-1d-1 reaching COD removal percentages of 80%. During the second step (Step II: days 62-109) nitrate was added as KNO3 to the industrial effluent and the OLR was varied between 1.0 and 1.25 g COD l-1d-1. Two different nitrogen loads of 0.10 and 0.22 g NO3--Nl-1d-1 were applied and these led to nitrogen removal percentages of around 100% in both cases and COD removal percentages of around 80%. Carbon to nitrogen ratio (C:N) in the influent was maintained at 2.0 and eventually it was increased to 3.0, by means of glucose addition, to control the denitrification process. From these results it is possible to establish that wastewater produced in a fish canning industry can be used as a carbon source for denitrification and that denitrifying microorganisms were present in the initially methanogenic sludge. Biomass productions of 0.23 and 0.61 g VSS:g TOC fed for Steps I and II, respectively, were calculated from carbon global balances, showing an increase in biomass growth due to denitrification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-418
Number of pages8
JournalWater Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon source
  • Denitrification
  • Fish canning effluents
  • Methanogenesis
  • Simultaneous
  • Wastewater


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