Wheat straw as substrate for water denitrification

M. Inês M. Soares, Aharon Abeliovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Scopus citations


Biological denitrification of drinking water was studied in up-flow laboratory reactors packed with wheat straw which served as the sole carbon source as well as the only physical support for the microorganisms. The highest rates of denitrification (0.053 g N removed l-1 d-1) were observed in fresh reactors during their first week of operation and the efficiency of the process declined thereafter. The addition of fresh wheat straw brought about a temporary improvement of the denitrification performance and a regime of one weekly addition prevented the deterioration of a reactor which was operated for 5 months. The rate of denitrification was affected by the water velocity and decreased at velocities above 0.054 m d-1. Colour and soluble organic carbon associated with fresh straw were removed by adsorption on powdered activated carbon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3790-3794
Number of pages5
JournalWater Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1998


  • Biological water treatment
  • Cellulose degradation
  • Denitrification
  • Nitrate contamination
  • Wheat straw

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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