Heterotrophic-autotrophic sequential system for reductive nitrate and perchlorate removal

Deniz Ucar*, Emine Ubay Cokgor, Erkan Sahinkaya

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Nitrate and perchlorate were identified as significant water contaminants all over the world. This study aims at evaluating the performances of the heterotrophic-autotrophic sequential denitrification process for reductive nitrate and perchlorate removal from drinking water. The reduced nitrate concentration in the heterotrophic reactor increased with increasing methanol concentrations and the remaining nitrate/nitrite was further removed in the following autotrophic denitrifying process. The performances of the sequential process were studied under varying nitrate loads of at a fixed hydraulic retention time of 2 h. The C/N ratio in the heterotrophic reactor varied between 1.24 and 2.77 throughout the study. Nitrate and perchlorate reduced completely with maximum initial concentrations of and 1000 μg/L, respectively. The maximum denitrification rate for the heterotrophic reactor was when the bioreactor was fed with and 277 mg/L methanol. For the autotrophic reactor, the highest denitrification rate was in the first period when the heterotrophic reactor performance was low. Perchlorate reduction was initiated in the heterotrophic reactor, but completed in the following autotrophic process. Effluent sulphate concentration was below the drinking water standard level of 250 mg/L and pH was in the neutral level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-191
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Technology (United Kingdom)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.


  • elemental sulphur
  • heterotrophic process
  • nitrate reduction
  • perchlorate reduction
  • sequential system


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