Denitrification of groundwater: Pilot-plant testing of cotton-packed bioreactor and post-microfiltration

M. I. Soares, A. Brenner, A. Yevzori, R. Messalem, Y. Leroux, A. Abeliovich

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The use of raw cotton as carbon source in the denitrification of drinking water was tested in a field pilot-plant. The reactor treated water from a well in which the concentration of nitrate varied from 22 mg N l-1 in summer to a minimum of 9 mg l-1 in winter. The experimental reactor had a capacity of approximately 9 m3 and could be packed with up to 1500 kg of unprocessed cotton. The highest rate of denitrification observed was 0.36 kg N m-3 d-1, at a feed rate of 6 m3h-1. However, this performance could be sustained only temporarily as the relatively high water pressure caused serious compression of the bed. The long-term (six months) performance of the system was studied at feed rates of 0.8 and 1.5 m3h-1. The process was stable and 80-100% of the influent nitrogen was removed. The increase in DOC at the outlet was usually less than 7 mg l-1, and the number of bacteria was in the order of 105-106 CFU ml-1. Crossflow microfiltration was an effective post-treatment for the removal of bacteria and elimination of turbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-359
Number of pages7
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000
EventProceedings of the 7th International Conference of the Israel Society for Ecology and Environmental Quality Sciences - Jerusalem, Isr
Duration: 13 Jun 199918 Jun 1999


  • Cellulose
  • Cotton
  • Denitrification
  • Field pilot
  • Microfiltration
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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