Evaluation of kinetic parameters of a sulfur-limestone autotrophic denitrification biofilm process

Hui Zeng, Tian C. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


In this study, four kinetic parameters of autotrophic denitrifiers in fixed-bed sulfur-limestone autotrophic denitrification (SLAD) columns were evaluated. The curve-matching method was used by conducting 22 non-steady-state tests for estimation of half-velocity constant, Ks and maximum specific substrate utilization rate, k. To estimate the bacteria yield coefficient, Y and the decay coefficient, kd, two short term batch tests (before and after the starvation of the autotrophic denitrifiers) were conducted using a fixed-bed SLAD column where the biofilm was fully penetrated by nitrate-N. It was found that Ks=0.398 mg NO3 --N/l, k=0.15 d-1, kd=0.09-0.12 d-1, and Y=0.85-1.11 g VSS/g NO3--N. Our results are consistent with those obtained from SLAD biofilm processes, but different from those obtained from suspended-growth systems with thiosulfate or sulfur powders as the S source. The method developed in this study might be useful for estimation of four Monod-type kinetic parameters in other biofilm processes. However, cautions must be given when the estimated parameters are used because the measurements of the biomass and the biofilm thickness could be further improved, and the assumption of sulfur being a non-limiting substrate needs to be proved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4941-4952
Number of pages12
JournalWater Research
Issue number20
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Autotrophic denitrification
  • Biofilm
  • Kinetics
  • Nitrate
  • Sulfur

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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