Efficient aerobic denitrification in the treatment of leather industry wastewater containing high nitrogen concentration

Kang, Kyeong Hwan;Lee, Geon;Kim, Joong Kyun

  • Received : 2014.07.31
  • Accepted : 2015.02.03
  • Published : 2015.03.31


To treat leather industry wastewater (LIW) containing high nitrogen concentration, eight aerobic denitrifiers were isolated from sludge existing in an LIW-treatment aeration tank. Among them, one strain named as KH8 had showed the great ability in denitrification under an aerobic condition, and it was identified as Pseudomonas aeruginosa R12. The aerobic denitrification ability of the strain KH8 was almost comparable to its anaerobic denitrification ability. In lab-scale aerobic denitrifications performed in 1-L five-neck flasks for 48 hr, denitrification efficiency was found to be much improved as the strain KH8 held a great majority in the seeded cells. From the nitrogen balance at the cell-combination ratio of 10:1 (the strain KH8 to the other seven isolates) within the seeded cells, the percentage of nitrogen loss during the aerobic denitrification process was estimated to be 58.4, which was presumed to be converted to $N_2$ gas. When these seeded cells with lactose were applied to plant-scale aeration tank for 56 day to treat high-strength nitrogen in LIW, the removal efficiencies of $COD_{Cr}$ and TN were achieved to be 97.0% and 89.8%, respectively. Under this treatment, the final water quality of the effluent leaving the treatment plant was good enough to meet the water-quality standards. Consequently, the isolated aerobic denitrifiers could be suitable for the additional requirement of nitrogen removal in a limited aeration-tank capacity. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of aerobic denitrifiers applied to plant-scale LIW treatment.


Aerobic denitrification;High nitrogen concentration;Leather industry wastewater;Plant-scale;Pseudomonas aeruginosa


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Supported by : Pukyong National University