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World J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014 Jan;30(1):109-18. doi: 10.1007/s11274-013-1430-1. Epub 2013 Jul 17.

Effects of different influent C/N ratios on the performance of various earthworm eco-filter systems: nutrient removal and greenhouse gas emission.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433, People's Republic of China.


In this study, we sought to identify influent carbon-to-nitrogen (C/N) ratios that yield relatively high nutrient removal efficiency with relatively low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The earthworm eco-filter (EE) system, which is composed of earthworms and plants (EP group), was found to be optimal for maximizing nutrient removal while reducing GHG emissions. In this EE system, the optimal influent C/N ratio for nutrient removal and GHG emission under C2N treatment conditions. Nutrient removal efficiency under this condition was 85.19 ± 6.40% chemical oxygen demand, 71.99 ± 11.28% total nitrogen, and 77.91 ± 8.51% total phosphorus, while the CO2 emission rate was 678.89 ± 201.87 mg m(-2) h(-1). Moreover, the highest nutrient removal and GHG emission rates were both achieved in late summer (August). Thus, carbon variation, season, system variation, as well as synergistic interaction between system variations and seasons, significantly affect nutrient removal efficiencies and GHG emissions.

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