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Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 22;7(1):12215. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-12565-3.

Inherent humic substance promotes microbial denitrification of landfill leachate via shifting bacterial community, improving enzyme activity and up-regulating gene.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, 1239 Siping Road, Shanghai, 200092, China.
2
State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, 1239 Siping Road, Shanghai, 200092, China. yg2chen@yahoo.com.

Abstract

Microbial denitrification is the main pathway for nitrogen removal of landfill leachate. Although humic substances (HSs) have been reported in landfill leachate, the effects of HS on denitrification process of activated sludge for leachate treatment are still unknown. In this study, we adopted SAHA as the model HS to study the effects of HS on the denitrification of landfill leachate. After long-term operation at 10 mg/L of Shanghai Aladdin Humic Acid (SAHA), the final nitrate concentration and nitrite accumulation were much lower than the control (5.2 versus 96.2 mg/L; 0.5 versus 34.7 mg/L), and the final N2O emission was 13.1% of the control. The mechanistic study unveiled that SAHA substantially changed the activated sludge community structure and resulted in the dominance of Thauera after long-term exposure to SAHA. Thauera could be able to utilize HSs as electron shuttle to improve denitrificattion performance, especially for nitrite reduction. Moreover, SAHA significantly upregulated the gene expressions and catalytic activities of the key enzymes related to denitrification, the reducing power (NADH) generation, and the electron transport system activity, which accelerated nitrogen oxide reduction. The positive effects of HS on denitrification performance were confirmed by the addition of SAHA into real leachate.

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