Reduction of nitrate in aquifer microcosms by carbon additions

Journal of Environmental Quality
By:  and 



Aquifer microcosms were used to examine the effects of NO3 and C amendments on groundwater from the Claiborne aquifer. Nitrate concentrations of 12.17 mg L−1 in aquifer microcosms were reduced 0.92%/d to 5.84 mg L−1 by the addition of 10 mg C L−1 for 35 d. Nitrate disappearance correlated with increases in number of denitrifiers and dissolved N2O concentration and decreases in dissolved oxygen, suggesting biological denitrification. Nitrate/chloride ratios decreased in microcosms with 10 mg C L−1 added and then increased when the C addition was removed. Carbon additions of 0.4 mg C L−1 had no effect on the microbial or chemical properties of the microcosms. Nitrous oxide levels in wells sampling the Claiborne aquifer showed an increase with depth, indicating N2O production within the aquifer. Microcosms are useful tools to examine biological transformations of chemical contaminants in unconsolidated aquifer material. The remediation of NO3 contaminated aquifers by organic infusion is possible and appears to be a function of microbial denitrification.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Reduction of nitrate in aquifer microcosms by carbon additions
Series title Journal of Environmental Quality
DOI 10.2134/jeq1991.00472425002000010041x
Volume 20
Issue 1
Year Published 1991
Language English
Publisher Alliance of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science Societies
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 4 p.
First page 255
Last page 258
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