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 Comparison of Commercially Available Electron Donors and a non-Flammable Proprietary Carbon Source MicroCâ„¢ for Biological Nitrogen Removal by Denitrification in the Onsite Industry
Samuel A. Ledwell
Item Number: NRL2006AC-38
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Nitrogen pollution from Onsite Sewage Disposal Systems (OSDS) accounts for a significant portion of the total nitrogen load to groundwater.Onsite nitrogen removal performance varies by process design and operation. The majority of practical nitrogen-removal systems employ biological nitrogen removal (BNR), some of which are proprietary technologies. Many of these BNR systems use exogenous electron donor addition to achieve more complete nitrogen removal. Typicalnitrogen removal rates for these technologies is 55-75% of total influent nitrogen (EPA, 2000). Other research indicates that TN reductions of greater than 70% are achievable without exogenous electron donor addition and 90% with exogenous carbon addition (Anderson, et al, 1998). Where the addition of an exogenous electron donor is required, careful consideration of the available alternatives should be completed. A suitable electron donor for denitrification should have the following properties: the electron donor should be inexpensive, safe to handle, commercially available, free of nitrogen and phosphorus, free of non-biodegradable and toxic compounds such as VOC’s, in liquid form or water soluble powder/crystals and have a low cell yield. Methanol, ethanol, acetic acid, sodium acetate, sucrose solutions, industrial wastes, food products and a proprietary chemical called MicroC™ are the most widely used electron donors for denitrification. The scope of this paper is to analyze the physical properties, safety and handling, economics and denitrification performance of the electron donors listed above.