The H2-based membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) was used to remove nitrate and perchlorate from real ion-exchange brine at two different salinities (30- and 50-g/L NaCl). Base production from nitrate reduction to N2 gas caused the pH to increase, and this exacerbated precipitation of calcium and magnesium carbonates onto the MBfR fibers. The precipitates lowered the H 2 flux to the biofilm and caused a deterioration of denitrification performance that could be reversed by mild citric-acid washing. The addition of acid seems to be the only mechanism to avoid serious precipitation, membrane fouling, and non-optimal pH for denitrification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1453-1458
Number of pages6
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2011


  • Ion-exchange brine
  • MBfR
  • Nitrate
  • Salinity
  • Solubility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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