Biochar carrier application for nitrogen removal of domestic WWTPs in winter: challenges and opportunities
Biofilm processes have a better nitrogen removal ability than traditional activated sludge at low temperatures (< 15 °C). Many biofilm processes, as well as integrated biofilm and activated sludge processes, are potential and realizable nitrogen removal upgrading methods for domestic wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Therefore, biofilm packing material is attractive for domestic WWTP upgrading and reconstruction in winter. For a half decade, researchers have successfully applied activated carbon to biochar as biofilm carrier in the wastewater treatment field. Biochar, as a biostable soil amendment with pores and crevices on its surface, has been applied in the soil–plant system, which promoted the adsorption of NH4+ and NO3−, decreased N2O emission, transcriptional level of narG, nxrA, and nirS, and changed the microbial community composition for better nitrogen removal. However, in the field of wastewater treatment, the study of biochar-packed process is merely in the laboratory stage of simulated wastewater, which deserves further research in the future. In this mini review, we will discuss the performances of different processes at low temperatures, the related mechanism of the biochar-packed process for nitrogen removal, and other potential applications of biochar carriers.
KeywordsLow temperature Biochar carrier Domestic wastewater Nitrogen removal
The authors would like to acknowledge the research facilities provided by the State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, China. We would like to thank Elsevier Language Editing Services for their linguistic assistance during the preparation of this manuscript.
This research was supported by the National Water Pollution Control and Treatment Science and Technology Major Project (Grant No. 2017ZX07204002), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. 021114380091), and the National Science and Technology Support Program of China (No. 2014BAC08B04).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with animals and human participants performed by any of the authors.
- Boog J, Nivala J, Aubron T, Mothes S, Afferden M, Muller R (2018) Resilience of carbon and nitrogen removal due to aeration interruption in aerated treatment wetlands. Appl Microbiol Biot 621(15):960–969Google Scholar
- Chen XG, Pan YL, Huang WX, Hu ZJ, He F (2005) Experimental study on a four-phase outer circulating fluidized bed by a sequencing batch reactor of biofilm process. Technol Water Treat 12:367–370Google Scholar
- He S, Ding L, Pan Y, Hu H, Ye L, Ren H (2018b) Nitrogen loading effects on nitrification and denitrification with functional gene quantity/transcription analysis in biochar packed reactors at 5 °C. Sci Rep. AcceptedGoogle Scholar
- Hu H, Ma H, Ding L, Geng J, Xu K, Huang H, Zhang Y, Ren H (2016) Concentration, composition, bioavailability, and N-nitrosodimethylamine formation potential of particulate and dissolved organic nitrogen in wastewater effluents: a comparative study. Sci Total Environ 569–570:1359–1368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Qiang N, Ji X, Gu G (2000) Experimental evaluation of the packing media for biotrickling filters. Huanjing Kexue 21(1):45–48Google Scholar
- Scherfig J, Schleisner L, Brond S, Kilde N (1996) Dynamic temperature changes in wastewater treatment plants. Water Environ Res. 68:143–151Google Scholar
- Sriwiriyarat T, Randall CW (2005) Evaluation of integrated fixed film activated sludge wastewater treatment processes at high mean cells residence time and low temperatures. J Environ Sci Heal A 131:1550–1556Google Scholar
- Sun Y, Qi S, Zheng F, Huang L, Pan J, Jiang Y, Hou W, Xiao L (2018) Organics removal, nitrogen removal and N2O emission in subsurface wastewater infiltration systems amended with/without biochar and sludge. Bioresour Technol 211:494–501Google Scholar