Partial denitrification, the termination of NO3−-N reduction at nitrite (NO2−-N), has received growing interest for treating wastewaters with high ammonium concentrations, because it can be coupled to anammox for total-nitrogen removal. NO2− accumulation in the hydrogen (H2)-based membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) has rarely been studied, and the mechanisms behind its accumulation have not been defined. This study aimed at achieving the partial denitrification with H2-based autotrophic reducing bacteria in a MBfR. Results showed that by increasing the NO3− loading, increasing the pH, and decreasing the inorganic-carbon concentration, a nitrite transformation rate higher than 68% was achieved. Community analysis indicated that Thauera and Azoarcus became the dominant genera when partial denitrification was occurring. Functional genes abundances proved that partial denitrification to accumulate NO2− was correlated to increases of gene for the form I RuBisCo enzyme (cbbL). This study confirmed the feasibility of autotrophic partial denitrification formed in the MBfR, and revealed the inorganic carbon mechanism in MBfR denitrification.
- autotrophic partial denitrification
- denitrification genes
- inorganic carbon fixing genes
- membrane biofilm reactor
- microbial community
- nitrite accumulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas