The quantity of substrate or soluble cBOD is the most important factor that influences denitrification. The greater the quantity of soluble cBOD, the greater the demand is for electron acceptors such as free molecular oxygen and nitrate. As soluble cBOD is degraded inside the bacterial cell, electrons are released from the degraded substrate. The released electrons are removed from the bacterial cell by electron acceptors. Therefore, the greater the quantity of soluble cBOD that is degraded, the greater the quantity of electron acceptors that are used. The more rapidly that oxygen is removed, the more quickly the use of nitrate (denitrification) occurs.
Denitrifying bacteria can use a large variety of soluble organic compounds as substrate including those found in domestic wastewater. Several organic compounds that are commonly added to denitrification tanks include acetate (CH3COOH), ethanol (CH3CH2OH), glucose (C6H12O6), and methanol (CH3OH). Methanol usually is the organic compound of choice. Methanol is a very simplistic form of soluble cBOD. It is absorbed rapidly by bacterial cells and is degraded easily.
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