Removal of nitrogenous compounds from municipal wastewater using a bacterial consortium: an opportunity for more sustainable water treatments
Marquez Fontalvo, Nubia | 2022
The integrated management of water resources is a requirement for environmental preservation and economic development, with the removal of nutrients being one of the main drawbacks. In this work, the efficiency of a bacterial consortium (Ecobacter WP) made up of eight bacterial strains of the genus Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus cereus, Arthrobacter sp., Acinetobacter paraffineus, Corynebacterium sp., and Streptomyces globisporus was evaluated in the removal of nitrogen compounds in domestic wastewater in a plug flow system, in the extended aeration and bioaugmentation (FLAEBI). To promote the nitrification and denitrification processes, three doses were tested to establish the optimal concentration of the bacterial consortium on a laboratory scale and its subsequent application in an outdoor wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The evaluation period was 15 days for each treatment in the laboratory and WWTP. The parameters monitored both at laboratory and outdoor were pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), ammonium, nitrites, and nitrates. The results indicated that the optimal concentration of the consortium was 30 mg L−1, with a removal of 92% of nitrate at the laboratory and 62% outdoor. Such a difference is attributed to the different operation residence times and the volume that caused different concentration gradients. The consortium studied can be used to promote nitrification and denitrification processes that intervene in the removal of nitrogenous compounds in plants with similar operating conditions, without investment in restructuring or design modification of the WWTP.