Microbial reduction of nitrate in the presence of nanoscale zero-valent iron.Chemosphere. 2008 May; 72(2):257-62.C
Microbial reduction of nitrate in the presence of nanoscale zero-valent iron (NZVI) was evaluated to assess the feasibility of employing NZVI in the biological nitrate treatment. Nitrate was completely reduced within 3d in a nanoscale Fe(0)-cell reactor, while only 50% of the nitrate was abiotically reduced over 7d at 25 degrees C. The removal rate of nitrate in the integrated NZVI-cell system was unaffected by the presence of high amounts of sulfate. Efficient removal of nitrate by Fe(II)-supported anaerobic culture in 14 d indicated that Fe(II), which is produced during anaerobic iron corrosion in the Fe(0)-cell system, might act as an electron donor for nitrate. Unlike abiotic reduction, microbial reduction of nitrate was not significantly affected by low temperature conditions. This study demonstrated the potential applicability of employing NZVI iron as a source of electrons for biological nitrate reduction. Use of NZVI for microbial nitrate reduction can obviate the disadvantages associated with traditional biological denitrification, that relies on the use of organic substrates or explosive hydrogen gas, and maintain the advantages offered by nano-particle technology such as higher surface reactivity and functionality in suspensions.