In this study, a membrane biofilm reactor was investigated for aerobic methane oxidation coupled indirectly to denitrification, a process potentially useful for denitrification of nitrate-contaminated waters and wastewaters using methane as external electron donor. Methane and oxygen were supplied from the interior of a silicone tube to a biofilm growing on its surface. We found that the membrane biofilm reactor was to some extent self-regulating in the supply of methane and oxygen. Although the intramembrane partial pressures of methane and oxygen were varied, the oxygen-to-methane ratio penetrating the membrane tended towards 1.68. Both nitrate removal rate and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) production rate appeared to be positively correlated with intramembrane methane pressure. Based on measured nitrate removal rates, DOC production rates, and nitrate removal efficiency, the possibility of using this method for treatment of a hypothetical wastewater was evaluated. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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