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Huan Jing Ke Xue. 2013 Mar;34(3):914-8.

[Removal of nitrate from groundwater using permeable reactive barrier].

[Article in Chinese]

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Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.


To provide a cost-effective method for the remediation of nitrate-polluted groundwater, column experiments were performed to study the removal of nitrate by permeable reactive barrier filled with fermented mulch and sand (biowall), and the mechanisms and influence factors were explored. The experimental results showed that the environmental condition in the simulated biowall became highly reduced after three days of operation (oxidation-reduction potential was below - 100 mV), which was favorable for the reduction of nitrate. During the 15 days of operation, the removal rate of nitrate nitrogen (NO3(-) -N) by the simulated biowall was 80%-90% (NO3(-)-N was reduced from 20 mg x L(-1) in the inlet water to 1.6 mg x L(-1) in the outlet water); the concentration of nitrite nitrogen (NO2(-) -N) in the outlet water was below 2.5 mg x L(-1); the concentration of ammonium nitrogen (NH4(+) -N) was low in the first two days but increased to about 12 mg x L(-1) since day three. The major mechanisms involved in the removal of nitrate nitrogen were adsorption and biodegradation. When increasing the water flow velocity in the simulated biowall, the removal rate of NO3(-) -N was reduced and the concentration of NH4(+) -N in the outlet water was significantly reduced. A simulated zeolite wall was set up following the simulated biowall and 98% of the NH4(+) -N could be removed from the water.

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