Two-stage removal of nitrate from groundwater using biological and chemical treatments

Pudukadu Munusamy Ayyasamy, Kuppusamy Shanthi, Perumalsamy Lakshmanaperumalsamy, Soon Jae Lee, Nag Choul Choi, Dong Ju Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we attempted to treat groundwater contaminated with nitrate using a two-stage removal system: one is biological treatment using the nitrate-degrading bacteria Pseudomonas sp. RS-7 and the other is chemical treatment using a coagulant. For the biological system, the effect of carbon sources on nitrate removal was first investigated using mineral salt medium (MSM) containing 500 mg l-1 nitrate to select the most effective carbon source. Among three carbon sources, namely, glucose, starch and cellulose, starch at 1% was found to be the most effective. Thus, starch was used as a representative carbon source for the remaining part of the biological treatment where nitrate removal was carried out for MSM solution and groundwater samples containing 500 mg l-1 and 460 mg l-1 nitrate, respectively. About 86% and 89% of nitrate were removed from the MSM solution and groundwater samples, respectively at 72 h. Chemical coagulants such as alum, lime and poly aluminium chloride were tested for the removal of nitrate remaining in the samples. Among the coagulants, lime at 150 mg l-1 exhibited the highest nitrate removal efficiency with complete disappearance for the MSM solutions. Thus, a combined system of biological and chemical treatments was found to be more effective for the complete removal of nitrate from groundwater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-134
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Aug


  • Pseudomonas sp. RS-7
  • chemical coagulants
  • groundwater
  • lime
  • nitrate removal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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