Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 4633–4644 | Cite as

Enhancing denitrification efficiency for nitrogen removal using waste sludge alkaline fermentation liquid as external carbon source

  • Mengyu Shao
  • Liang GuoEmail author
  • Zonglian She
  • Mengchun Gao
  • Yangguo Zhao
  • Mei Sun
  • Yiding Guo
Research Article


External carbon source was usually added to enhance denitrification efficiency for nitrogen removal in wastewater treatment. In this study, waster sludge alkaline fermentation liquid was successfully employed as an alternative carbon source for biological denitrification. The denitrification performance was studied at different C/Ns (carbon-to-nitrogen ratios) and HRTs (hydraulic retention times). A C/N of 7 and an HRT of 8 h were the optimal conditions for denitrification. The nitrate removal efficiency of 96.4% and no obvious nitrite accumulation in the effluent were achieved under the optimal conditions with a low soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD) level. The sludge carbon source utilization was analyzed and showed that the volatile fatty acids (VFAs) were prior utilized than proteins and carbohydrates. The excitation-emission matrix (EEM) spectroscopy with fluorescence regional integration (FRI) was adopted to analyze the compositional and variations of dissolved organic matters (DOM). Moreover, a high denitrification rate (VDN) and potential (PDN) with low heterotroph anoxic yield (YH) was exhibited at the optimal C/N and HRT condition, indicating the better denitrification ability and organic matter utilization efficiencies.


Denitrification Carbon source Sludge alkaline fermentation C/N HRT Kinetics analysis 


Funding information

The study was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong (Grant Number: ZR2017MEE067), Sciences and Technology Project of Qingdao (Grant Number:16-5-1-20-jch), Open Fund of Laboratory for Marine Ecology and Environmental Science, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (LMEES201805), China Scholarship Council-International Clean Energy Innovation Talent (iCET) program, and the Ocean University of China-Auburn University (OUC-AU) grants program.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mengyu Shao
    • 1
  • Liang Guo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Zonglian She
    • 1
  • Mengchun Gao
    • 1
  • Yangguo Zhao
    • 1
  • Mei Sun
    • 1
  • Yiding Guo
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental and Ecology, Ministry of EducatinOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina
  3. 3.Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Environment and Geological EngineeringQingdaoChina

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