Quinoline (C9H7N) commonly occurs in wastewaters from the chemical, pharmaceutical, and dyeing industries. As quinoline is biodegraded, nitrogen is released as ammonium. Total-N removal requires that the ammonium-N be nitrified and then denitrified. The objective of this study was to couple quinoline biodegradation with total-N removal. In a proof-of-concept step, activated sludge was sequenced from aerobic to anoxic stages. The ammonium nitrogen released from quinoline biodegradation in the aerobic stage was nitrified to nitrate in parallel. Anoxic biodegradation of the aerobic effluent then brought about nitrogen and COD removals through denitrification. Then, simultaneous quinoline biodegradation and total-N removal were demonstrated in a novel airlift internal loop biofilm reactor (AILBR) having aerobic and anoxic zones. Experimental results showed that the AILBR could achieve complete removal of quinoline, 91% COD removal, and 85% total-N removal when glucose added as a supplemental electron donor once nitrate was formed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)738-744
Number of pages7
JournalFrontiers of Environmental Science and Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 3 2015


  • Quinoline
  • biodegradation
  • biofilm
  • denitrification
  • reactor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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