Formaldehyde degradation in denitrifying woodchip bioreactors: Effects of temperature, concentration and hydraulic retention time

Mathis von Ahnen*, Lars-Flemming Pedersen, Per Bovbjerg Pedersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

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Abstract

Formalin is applied in certain aquaculture systems to control parasites infestations as well as bacterial and fungal diseases. This study investigated the  capacity of  end-of-pipe denitrifying woodchip bioreactors to  remove potentially harmful amounts of  residual formaldehyde (FA) from aquaculture effluents. Formaldehyde was readily removed by experimental- and field-scale denitrifying woodchip bioreactors and the removal of FA was found to be a combination of an initial adsorption of FA to woodchip surfaces (52 ± 2.8 g FA/m3 woodchips) and microbial degradation. Volumetric FA removal rates reaching 261 ± 27 g FA/m3/d were found at FA inlet concentrations of 90 mg FA/L and hydraulic retention times (HRT) of 5 h. High FA removal efficiencies ranged from 88.3 ± 4.6–99.8 ± 0.2% found for FA inlet concentrations –up to 105 mg FA/L and HRTs between 3.4 and 15 h. Microbial FA degradation rates in woodchip bioreactors were positively correlated to temperature with a Q10 value of 2.27 and a corresponding Arrhenius temperature coefficient of 1.086 for the investigated temperature range of  7–23 C.  At  a  commercial, outdoor recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) three full-scale woodchip compartments, achieved an average volumetric FA removal rate of 29.4 ± 0.2 g FA/m3/d and a removal efficiency of 82.5 ± 0.8% during the first 24 h following addition of FA. The results demonstrated that woodchip bioreactors are efficient in removing residual FA from RAS effluents and that nitrate removal was transiently enhanced during FA removal. 
Original languageEnglish
Article number102199
JournalAquacultural Engineering
Volume95
Number of pages10
ISSN0144-8609
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Formalin
  • End-of-pipe treatment
  • Aquaculture
  • Environmental impact

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