Bacterially mediated removal of phosphorus and cycling of nitrate and sulfate in the waste stream of a "zero-discharge" recirculating mariculture system

Krom, MD, Ben David, A, Ingall, ED, Benning, LG, Clerici, S, Bottrell, S, Davies, C, Potts, NJ, Mortimer, RJG ORCID: 0000-0003-1292-8861 and Van Rijn, J, 2014. Bacterially mediated removal of phosphorus and cycling of nitrate and sulfate in the waste stream of a "zero-discharge" recirculating mariculture system. Water Research, 56, pp. 109-121. ISSN 0043-1354


Download (1MB) | Preview


Simultaneous removal of nitrogen and phosphorus by microbial biofilters has been used in a variety of water treatment systems including treatment systems in aquaculture. In this study, phosphorus, nitrate and sulfate cycling in the anaerobic loop of a zero-discharge, recirculating mariculture system was investigated using detailed geochemical measurements in the sludge layer of the digestion basin. High concentrations of nitrate and sulfate, circulating in the overlying water (~15 mM), were removed by microbial respiration in the sludge resulting in a sulfide accumulation of up to 3 mM. Modelling of the observed S and O isotopic ratios in the surface sludge suggested that, with time, major respiration processes shifted from heterotrophic nitrate and sulfate reduction to autotrophic nitrate reduction. The much higher inorganic P content of the sludge relative to the fish feces is attributed to conversion of organic P to authigenic apatite. This conclusion is supported by: (a) X-ray diffraction analyses, which pointed to an accumulation of a calcium phosphate mineral phase that was different from P phases found in the feces, (b) the calculation that the pore waters of the sludge were highly oversaturated with respect to hydroxyapatite (saturation index = 4.87) and (c) there was a decrease in phosphate (and in the Ca/Na molar ratio) in the pore waters simultaneous with an increase in ammonia showing there had to be an additional P removal process at the same time as the heterotrophic breakdown of organic matter.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Water Research
Creators: Krom, M.D., Ben David, A., Ingall, E.D., Benning, L.G., Clerici, S., Bottrell, S., Davies, C., Potts, N.J., Mortimer, R.J.G. and Van Rijn, J.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: 2014
Volume: 56
ISSN: 0043-1354
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:50
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:12

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year