Bacterial communities in a bioelectrochemical denitrification system: The effects of supplemental electron acceptors

Sanath Kondaveeti, Sang Hoon Lee, Hee-Deung Park, Booki Min

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74 Citations (Scopus)


Electrochemical treatment of nitrate (NO3 -), nitrite (NO2 -) and mixtures of nitrate and nitrite was evaluated with microbial catalysts on a cathode in three different bioelectrochemical denitrification systems (BEDS). The removal rates and removal percentage of nitrogen (N) compounds varied during biotic and abiotic operations. The biotic cathode using NO3 --N as an electron acceptor showed enhanced removal percentages (88%) compared to the operation with NO2 --N (85%). The simultaneous reduction of NO3 --N and NO2 --N occurred in the operation with a mixture of N compounds. The bacterial diversity from the initial inoculum (return sludge) changed at the end of bioelectrochemical denitrification operation after 55 days. The microbial community composition was different depending on the type of electron acceptor. BEDS operation with NO3 --N and NO2 --N was enriched with Proteobacteria and Firmicutes respectively. BEDS with a mixture of N electron acceptors showed enrichment with Proteobacteria. There was no clear, distinct microbial community between the cathode biofilm and suspended biomass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-36
Number of pages12
JournalWater Research
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar 15



  • Biocathode
  • Bioelectrochemical system
  • Denitrification
  • Nitrate
  • Pyrosequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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