Denitrification of groundwater using cotton as energy source

M. Volokita, A. Abeliovich, M. I.M. Soares

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


Microbial removal of nitrate from drinking water was studied in laboratory columns packed with unprocessed short fiber (low quality) cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). Cotton served as the sole chemical and physical substrate for the microbial population. Removal of nitrate was rapidly achieved without the formation of nitrite. Cotton (cellulose)-dependent denitrification was affected by changes in temperature: denitrification rates at 14°C were approximately half of the rates observed at 30°C. The cotton was entirely consumed in the process. In a fresh reactor, colonization of substrate by bacteria appears to be the rate limiting factor in the removal of nitrate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-385
Number of pages7
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number1-2 -2 pt 1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996
EventProceedings of the 1996 18th Biennial Conference of the International Association on Water Quality. Part 1 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 23 Jun 199628 Jun 1996


  • Cellulose
  • Cotton
  • Denitrification
  • Microbial water treatment
  • Nitrate contamination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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